|The Right Thing|
|Summary:||The party of Camdens returns to Tall Oaks where Damara and Sarojyn must choose what is right. But for who?|
|Date:||12 Dec 2011|
|Related Logs:||All logs pertaining to the affections between Damara and Sarojyn|
|Large Clearing - Tall Oaks|
|Far enough away from the rising Oak Hall, the clearin can still barely see the top of it. The large clearing opens up, shafts of light streaming down in through the tall trees that circle the area. The wild grasses and rush grow thick here but there are logs with rope attached for laying it flat whent he time for celebrations or small tourneys are in need. A simple small wooden pergola lines the right and a gentle stream cuts through the area. Torches are kept protected and it appears as if all manner of festivals take place in the field.|
|December 12, 288|
While the Camden entourage had returned to the Oaks, Sarojyn had excused him from business for the time being. Making his way down along the path and then towards the Godswood, the Lord has stopped in the large clearing and can be found, at this moment, over the stream that cuts through the clearing. Hands clasp the edge of the cloak, drawing the fabric around it as he simply looks to the bubbling water and then up, to the path that leads to the Godswood and then further, to the rise of the Keep that can just be seen over the trees.
Letting keep his own company for a time, Damara had taken care of the falcon and returned him to the mews. BUt it was to the kitchens she had gone, finding warmed wine with spices and packed it in a clay jug. She carries it in a woven sling on her arm, steadying it with her hand now as she has followed after him. In her hand is caught a cloth, holding the small baked morsels she had also been able to have heated and given. Her head lifts to the dreary sky as she wades through the grass. Her gaze lifts to the figure she can see outlined across the stream and the mistress makes her way. As she draws closer, she slows and than lifts her head. "Sarojyn…"
If Sarojyn notices the approach of someone, he doesn't turn to acknowledge whoever it is, perhaps assuming it's one of the servants or men-at-arms. That single word that comes to be offered, though, has his head lowering and his body turning and when his eyes come to settle upon Damara, there's a soft smile that warms against his lips. "Damara," comes the soft reply, followed by a lift of his hand, "Come and join me?"
There is no reply needed, she takes her time to step across the stream and than up to join him, coming to his side and looking out to see if there is something of interest he is giving his attention to besides thought. "I have some wine…the ride was long and it will ease the ache from it." She shrugs her right shoulder to loosen the sling and takes the clay jug in hand. "And some small spice crisps that were left from the morning…you should eat…and drink, please." She asks of him, her concern palpable.
When she comes to stand by his side, Sarojyn is leaning in to press a soft kiss to the side of her head before straightening and judging from the area, there was nothing of import to be seen, leading one to believe that he was considering his thoughts. The mention of wine and snacks has a soft chuckle escaping past his lips, "Not so long that I need worry about an ache that will fade, though." He does pause, looking to the jug and to the snacks, the latter of which see's him claiming one, "But I will not turn down something to snack on."
The kiss brings a warmer smile to her lips and Damara sighs, lifting the jug to uncork it and hold it waiting for him as she lets him eat. "There is too much on your mind, too many things to go wrong…and you know it. Tell me…like you once did. My confidence is ever the same…" The mistress longs to know what is keeping his attention to his thoughts, but her concern is mostly there - foremost for him.
Sarojyn does eat, but it's in small bites and he doesn't yet touch the wine, for the question draws a wry smile to his lips as he head offers the hint of a nod. "There is much to be considered, Damara. There is much that could wrong, with either path that was chosen. Unlike before, we found ourselves caught in the middle of something that could come, or may never be." There is the faint hint of a shrug as he looks back to the stream. "I can suspect what will transpire, but I have no concrete proof."
Damara listens and then gives a faint nod of her head. A sigh escapes her and she closes her eyes, fingers lifting to bring the wine up. "We may not fight, but it will be known we do nothing - which culd be just as bad. I hope it does not come to it and Tall Oaks benefits from this trade rather than not." There is a smile and she shifts, taking the mug to rest on her upper arm as her finger is hooked in the handle of the wine jug that waits for him. "I do not like what all this does to you. BUt I should never have thought that we would remain locked away after the events five years ago. It's a childish hope, you must forgive me for it."
A smile softens to Sarojyn's lips as he gives a shake of his head, "Nothing to forgive, Damara, for I had hoped the same." Then, he's looking to the stream and the tree's before looking back to her once more, "We can pray that the trade alliance is accepted and that is all that comes .." There's a but and it comes a moment later, "But, I fear if a war were to come. I fear the call of House Tully to rally banners to aid the Terricks. I bare them no love, Damara, and can not see risking our people over it."
"You will be called craven…and worse." She intones to him and slowly lowers the jug and steps closer. "I pray for our people…I always do. But I want to protect the only thing that I have left that I cherish. You are not going to be safe. Sarojyn…" She keeps herself, halting her words. "I just want time…with you. Even if it is not much. Can we forget the praying for trade…can we….steal something for ourselves?" The request is wholly unlike the mistress but her gaze holds his intently.
"And should I refuse another call, trade will stop and our coffers will dry. I find ourselves in a most difficult of positions." That's said as she comes to step closer and when she speaks again, Sarojyn is moving to slip an arm around her, drawing her against his side. "Yes .. we can put all that aside, Damara." The words are softly spoken now. "It would be good to forget such things for awhile."
"I know I can't have you forever, but …whatever time I can make mine…" She leans into him and closes her eyes. Damara lets out a breath. "Seeing the Lady Harlaw and your brother…" There is a tension in her voice and she exhales, smiling against his shoulder as she kisses it. "I didn't think this would ever be so hard…" She says and then releases him lightly. "You have duties…and mine to serve you. But I can not help but be jealous for the freedoms your brother has with the woman he loves."
"Time is what we make of it, Damara, and for you .. I shall see that you have plenty." The mention of Daffy and Kathryna draws another wry smile to Sarojyn's lips as he gives a shake of his head, "It is not so simple for them, I'm afraid." Then, a sigh escapes his lips before he continues, "Their marriage will never be. Her Lords will not allow such a thing to happen. Of that, I'm certain." A brief pause and a soft breath, "Duties .. yes. Duties which have been blurred and lost with time. Peace is not as easily found and I'm not sure if can be."
"I trust you…and what you do. My concern is for your health…and safety. Peace is hard to find, we must take it while we can." Damara tells him and than she lets her gaze drift, going distant as she speaks. "Why would they not? A match for a lesser daughter is a good thing, especially to a family that is rich in lumber…" She exhales and then slowly lowers the wine further, the sling falling to hang and brush the ground.
A soft laugh escapes Sarojyn's lips as he gives a shake of his head, "My health will not fail me now, Damara. I can assure you of that." A shift of his head has him brushing his lips to her hair as her gaze goes distant. "That's not the way of the Ironborn. They seek power and to place a lesser daughter with a lesser son gives them nothing. I have little doubt that their return reply will be to demand my vacant throne."
She is silent for a time, exhaling slowly and wetting her lips. "I have ever told you I would live with the wife you might have to take…" Damara says and smiles faintly up to him, "And it could be worse than Kate." She says softly. "But…I am not so sure anymore. I do not trust -myself- to accept it quite so readily…" There is a soft nervous laugh and than it fades as she focues on him. "I have tried, many times to deny it, but I can not. You are a hard man to forget." Another smile and she leans up to place a soft kiss to his cheek.
There's a slight close of Sarojyn's eyes at those words and an almost resigned sigh escapes past his lips as he gives a nod of his head, "I know you have .." That's followed by, "I am not so sure I could accept it, Damara. It would not be something that is done lightly, though Dafydd thinks it should be done. To help protect our lands." The brush of lips to his cheek has him tilting into it, but the smile that comes is a small one at best. "If I were to marry .. she'd become the Lady of Tall Oaks. To speak on my behalf. To rule in my absence. It .." He doesn't finish.
"She would give you children as well, Sarojyn…" Damara does her best to keep her voice even. "She will not only speak on your behalf, but she will ease your worries and keep you company. She will be your companion…" She leans forward to rest her forehead against the side of his jaw, exhaling. She lets her touch linger on him. "I would be your falconer and remain as best I could at your side in the only capacity I could give you. And I would do it the best of my abilities…" She draws back a little, head bowed before it tilts and she gathers herself against the onslaught of her unsteady emotions.
As Damara begins to speak, there's no denying the truth of the words. Or the logic. And that fact shows upon Sarojyn's features, along with the fact that he doesn't seem to enjoy the very idea. "I know she would and I know you would, Damara." It's his turn to look out over the tree's and the stream, "And I would argue that it's not what I want .. but I fear that you would echo the sentiments of my brother and tell me that I can't always do as I want, but that I must do as I need." He does look back to her as those words end, his arm tightening just a touch around her.
"I would, in the name of duty, I would." Damara says the word would with hesitation and she curls her fingers about his shoulder. She draws a breath and then whispers the rest. "I think the Gods know what was needed…but men do not always listen to Gods…men make their rules, they make their laws.." She swallows and stares at his neck, lost where her fingers slowly brush to his skin. "I am not sure…I could accept someone else at your side. No matter how I said I could try. I think I would leave…or give the care of the falcons to my apprentice. There is just too much I have lost for me to stand back like I did the last time. I was incapable to even keep my son alive…if we had denied ourselves this feeling between us, I might have survived had such an occassion come to pass, but it's unfair…you stole me from my mourning and I can't go back anymore, Sarojyn. My nights would be alone…and dreadful. I could not count the shadows as I once did…"
The feeling of her hand curling about his shoulders and then lifting to brush against his skin has his eyes closing as he just listens. Then, there's the faintest of nods, an action that also comes with a very soft sigh. "I don't know what it is that the Gods want, Damara, but I know what it is that I want." He stops, his head turning to press a lingering kiss to her hair before he's murmering, "It was not you who was responsible for what happened on that day, my love. If anything, it is the way of life that my family chose that is responsible. Our guards were not prepared for such a task." Another shake of his head is given .. one that comes with a soft frown, "I'm .. not sure I could have you leave."
"I am not sure I could stay…" Damara says in a rush. But there is a moment or two of silence and she pulls back from him. "This is your fault…I was content where I was. The fear of being alone didn't scare me, the emptiness was there but it wasn't…" Noticeable. "I can not give you up. And if there is a time when you do marry…I can not watch, I do not think I will wish to be here at all. This land will turn to dust and there will be no more days." She manages a smile and then says with a lift of her head to look at him. "I thought the Gods were cruel for taking everything from me, but I am not sure that was the worst pain that I will ever feel. If it comes, you will have to let me go from Tall Oaks…from us. You will have to." She insists.
There's a slight nod to the first, followed by a softly murmered, "I know … I'm sorry. I wish we could just steal ourselves to the trees and forget all that goes on around us." He does turn after that, coming to face her more directly, so that his hands can lift to claim her cheeks in his palms, "You would have my leave, Damara .. I could not keep you somewhere, where all that you'd find is misery and despair." A brush of his thumb and he's looking to her eyes, "You, whose counsel I value and treasure … tell me what it is that I should do. What it is that is right .."
At his last question, she can not look at him. SHe finds it hard to breathe and she swallows before exhaling. Her gaze lifts finally to meet his. "What is right for who?" She asks him. She wets her lips, trying to focus on him. "Marry me…." The words are said so soft. "I would make you happy….and you already make me so.." Her cheek warms in his touch and she turns her cheek into his palm. Her hand lifts and she touches his hand, holding it to her cheek, eyes close in a steady sigh. "It is what I want….but only what is right by me…" She whispers still and a tear falls down her cheek. "You make this so hard…" She says in a rushed tone.
There's no answer to either question that's posed, for Sarojyn lets her finish speaking before a soft sigh escapes his lips. The touch of his thumb can be felt as it moves to brush that tear from her cheek, "I would marry you in a heartbeat, Damara, for you are everything to me." Teeth worry against his bottom lip for a moment, "You would be a good ruler to our people, one to help guide my hand." He pauses there, eyes closing a touch, "It is what we want, my love. Tell me that it's right for all and I will set things in place."
Damara looses a shakey breath suddenly at his last. "We know it is right for us..but for the security of Tall Oaks..it may not be…but yet it might be as well.." She whispers. "I would do all I could for our people…I want to see Tall Oaks prosper and in security. But would the lords you speak to, speak to me? Would they accept me as a lady of rank? Or brush me off?" She asks him and brushes her own thumb across his wrist and then along the base of his own thumb. "I would be a good lady to our people…but not to the other houses." But an Ironborn would be much the same, yet she doesn't speak of it.
There's a measure of truth to the words that are spoken, to all degrees, and it draws a simple nod Sarojyn's head. "I know you would do much, Damara. You would be a kind ruler, one in which the people would be proud to call Lady." Now, a softer smile takes hold of his lips, his own thumb still moving against her cheek as her own moves against his home. "I can not lie to you .. I fear they would be brash to decision and dismiss you off as a lady of no station .." Another sigh, this one of resigned regret, "And I fear that even then, you would find unhappiness."
"In that there is truth, but in unhappiness there is not…you mistake me for a woman born recognized…you are the only man of power who looks to me with any sort of understanding. Being dismissed by the lords would only irk me in so far as I could not serve you properly in the capacity you wish to give me…but as to me personally…" She draws a breath. "I am far too used to it to take offense. Lords often are blind and do not see all for what it is…" But there seems to be another resigned stance from her, as if that quickly built possibility is just fading again. "I would not damage your chances my lord…you need a strong lady to help you rule.."
That frown reclaims Sarojyn's lips as he listens to those words and with another nod of his head, he's murmering, "It seems the Gods work against us, Damara. No matter what path we move to walk, unhappiness is rife upon each." Leaning in, he presses a soft kiss to her forehead, features visibly dismayed by such things. "I … I'm lost .. I wish to only see you happy, my love and I find myself not being able to do such a thing."
Closing her eyes as he kisses her forehead, Damara nods and tries not to let herself tear up again. Instead she drops the jug and lifts her hands, drawing him closer with her own hands at the collar of his shirt. She draws him closer to kisses him, pressing her lips to his, crushing herself against him. One hand lifts to cradle his cheek and she exhales against his lips as she draws back, but only a small amount so she can brush her nose to his. Her eyes open and she studies his face. "You make me happier than you can possibly know…"
There's no concern for that jug and when her hands lift to draw him closer, he's welcoming that kiss with a soft little murmer. His hands remain against her cheeks, craddling her face to his palms and when she pulls back to brush nose to his, his own eyes meet hers and hold there for a moment, "To hear that warms my heart .." One hand slips from her face, moving behind to craddle the back of her head. "No matter what should happen, I do so love you. I want you to know that and to never forget."
Damara gives a faint nod of her head, "I know…I can never forget and that is part…" And will most likely be part of her misery as well. The mistress exhales and brushes her lips to his. "Just stolen moments then….I will cherish them." The hold she has on him does not let up. Instead she brushes her kisses to his cheek and then his neck before she wraps her arms around him and presses herself agianst him. Her head bows against his shoulder and she buries her head there, her breath brushing against his neck. There are words, so whispered he might night even hear.
That soft brush of a kiss is returned before Sarojyn is murmering, "Not stolen moments, but ones given free of heart .." Then, he's holding her to him, his cheek coming to press against her hair as her head bows against his shoulder. A hand gentles to her back, stroking lightly and keeping her against him, unwilling to let her part from the embrace at this time. He lets the silence go on his part, broken only those softly whispered words that she breathes.
Finally, after long moments just welcoming the warmth of his arms, Damara lifts her cheek to press to his. "I will stay…" She breathes and kisses his cheek. "I will stay no matter what comes…" The mistress lowers from the embrace after another kiss to his cheek. Her hand passes over the back of his head in a gentle caress before she is taking a step back and gathering herself. She lowers to take up the jug, half wasted to the earth, the cork lost somewhere. "You should rest…and return to the keep to find warmth at your hearth."
There is little doubt that her words bring joy to his heart, but they also bring anguish to bare, though it's eased by the kiss to his cheek. As she begins to lower from the embrace, there's a brush of his lips to her cheek before Sarojyn is giving a nod of his head, "I'm glad .. " The hand that passes over the back of his head draws a soft sigh and a murmered, "Know that I will never hold you to your service, my love, but I will hold you to your happiness instead. Even if it means I must lose you." When she moves to reclaim the jug and mentions rest, a hand lifts to rub at his right temple, "You are right, but I fear that I will find no warmth in the keep tonight."
Damara does her best to smile for him, trying to lighten his spirits. "My hearth is small, but you have always been welcome to it…" She waits, fingers curling about the jug as she builds the wall again slowly, the one of her own strength and not against him. She parts her lips, drawing a breath. "I would be glad to set the fire for you and serve you what I have. Though I fear it is not much." There is another smile, one of warmth and perhaps hope. Stolen moments, but given freely.
The smile hints upon his lips once more as Sarojyn gives a nod of his head, "I'd like that, Damara." There's a step in and a lift of his hand to her cheek, fingers brushing against the smooth skin as he gives another nod of his head, "Perhaps tonight, we can find warmth together, but you need't serve me or anything of the sort. To hold you in my arms is all that I need."
"I do not serve you as a lord in my house, but as a wife to a husband. We may not pledge it before the gods, but it as true in my heart as it ever could be in words…" Damara leans into the touch at her cheek, trying not to let the hot tears choking her to fall. "Please, let me do that. It has been far too long since I have had the ability to care for the one I loved in such a way." She manages to control the tremble that threatens to steal her strength. "It would make me happy…" She finally adds, as if that would put an end to his hesitation. "Let me set our hearth…and tend to you as I may…"
Those words are enough to set a tremble to Sarojyn's touch and his eyes close for a moment, as if simply picturing what such a life would be. Whatever thoughts flit through his mind draw a soft smile to his lips and when his eyes open, he's giving a nod of his head, "Then I gladly accept, my love, with all my heart." His hand falls from her cheek so as to drop to the jug, which is gently removed from her hand and then discarded. This lets his hand claim hers, a gentle squeeze offered as finger twine amongst her own, "Come .. let us return home and have our evening."
Gathering a breath as he accepts, there is a tenderness in the touch she gives as her hand is taken. Her other comes to rest over his, small hands to his larger as she brushes fingers to the back of his hand. "Thank you…" Home. It is a much more intimate meaning now between them. It is Tall Oaks, and it is something between just them. Leaning in to him, she kisses his upper arm and then begins to lead him, not to the keep, but back to the hovels of his people, to the small home that has been quite empty as of late. She keeps moving, trying to forget what has been lost and focus on what has been founded between them. She cares not what the people see any longer, she walks freely, outright and in their view at his side. She had mourned long enough for any that would speak against them.