|The Rumors on Tongues|
|Summary:||Alek sleeps with someone that is not a whore or a craftholder's daughter.|
|Related Logs:||Victor's Spoils|
|The Guest Rooms at the Rockcliff are slightly more than modest. Each has a spacious bed with clean sheets and some generic artwork hung above the bed. Each room has a vase of fresh flowers replaced daily as well as a water basin and mirror. Trunk space is provided for those staying more than a night or two and wooden pull-tab by the door operates a pully system of bells that will summon one of the women of the house to take food orders or resolve anything required. A large window overlooks to surrounding town though shutters stand ready to block out the sunlight as required.|
|29th of Tenthmonth, 288 AL|
After their previous encounter, Senna didn't linger long. A few more kisses, a few laughs, and she was gathering her things and slipping out the door before Alek could have a chance to grow tired of her. Which may make one wonder why she's sought the knight out again. There's a knock on the door, and a low, rich voice that calls inside. "Special delivery for Ser Cockerel."
Perhaps it's miracle or the mere presence of Anneke somewhere else within the Inn that has Alek's room whoreless, as if this would prove something to a steward that cannot see it. There is, however, wine from which he sips as he sits with his back against his bed's headboard, steel in his lap. He sets it aside quickly enough, a smile touching a single corner of his mouth where he crosses to open the door.
When he opens the door, there she is. Senna leans against the doorframe, a small basket hooked over one elbow. The faint, astringent scent of herbs lingers around the woman, cut by the deeper scent of juniper should he draw any closer. "Ah, you live," she laughs when the door opens, smile curving. "I thought I'd stop by and see if you needed any medical attention. With most of the tourney knights leaving, I'm afraid to say business is getting slow."
"And you thought of me to—quicken it?" Alek murmurs, smile growing all the more crooked as he does lean in. Already familiar with her, it seems he takes that as invitation to lift his fingers to the tumble of dark hair. "I am alive so far as I can tell, but I can only speak for the now. Who knows when someone will take it upon themselves to attack me again."
"Mmmm, something like that," Senna laughs low as she steps into the room, slipping a hand around his waist as his hand moves to her hair. "Perhaps you ought to invest in a guard or two, if you expect to be attacked so often," she suggests, that lingering touch disappearing like a sudden breeze as she slips away to set her basket down on the nightstand. "How's the eye feel?"
"I have had worse, but if you want to look at it further," Alek suggests, the warmth and low play of his words hinting at more of the other kind of 'examination' than anything else. He trails after her, hands slipping to curve gently over Senna's waist as he leans to brush his lips over the bare skin of her neck. "How would it look for a knight to be trailed by guards?"
"Like he was more important than just a knight, I suppose," Senna muses, tilting her head slightly to bare more of the pale curve of her neck as she pulls a few things from the basket. "Maybe you should instead recruit yourself some obedient sellsword sorts," she suggests in turn, lips curving. "Thoroughly disreputable sorts. Then you'd look like a man who commands obedience and loyalty, at least."
"Perhaps one day, but for today I have little enough in the way of coin to earn sellswords," Alek murmurs against her neck, kisses dragging against that opening to take advantage of it. "Though, apparently we do have bees now at Oldstones." Musing and amused, the words are light where they come out before he captures Senna's earlobe between his teeth gently.
"Bees?" Senna echoes with an arch of her brow. "Bees mean a few things. Bees mean wax, which is very useful. And bees mean honey." She laughs low, the sound fading into a hum at the nip at her ear. "And there are so many interesting things one can do with honey." Turning to face him, she moves a hand to his belt, tugging at it to keep him close. "I brought some leeches for your eye, but I've found that the sight of leeches does very little for certain types of blood flow in most men," she drawls, humor curling one corner of her lips.
"And that is exactly what Steward said, though not so deliciously," Alek murmurs with a half-smile, grey-green eyes warmed with desire. The hand is needless as he presses closer, fingers digging into Senna's hips to pull her against him. "Does it need to be leeched? I have had many others that have healed on their own."
Senna shrugs one shoulder, reaching up to trace the back of a nail slowly over the bruised skin. "It helps reduce the swelling," she murmurs. "But if you've no immediate need to see past a swollen eyelid, there's no real need for the leeches." Smile deepening, she reaches back with one hand to brace herself as she hops up onto the nightstand, wrapping one leg around him. "So you get punched in the face often, do you?" she laughs, tipping her chin back to try to steal a kiss. "Pity, that. I'd hate to see it ruined."
The kiss is returned slowly, skill in Alek's kiss as he leans into the woman. A smile can be felt against her lips, another kiss trailing to the corner of her mouth. "You see, it is this mouth of mine. It seems to get me in such trouble, even as amazing as it can be," he replies with easy humor. "Perhaps you should come with me when I leave, to keep it my pretty face from being ruined."
"Now there's an interesting offer," Senna murmurs as her lips brush the line of his jaw, a fingertip brushing over his lips in turn. "Protect said mouth in exchange for enjoying its particular skills." Her fingers march down his throat to his chest as she slowly kisses her way down the column of his neck to where it joins his shoulder. "I don't make a habit of following men around, though," she admits, teeth brushing his skin.
"You could make an exception," Alek answers in suggestion, fingers twining in the folds of Senna's dress to bunch the material in his hands and tease it upwards. His brow curves in a question, however, silent where he pulls back enough to look into the woman's gaze.
Senna arches a brow up at the knight, pausing a moment as she catches his eye. There's a moment where she watches him, and then her brows furrow, confusion flickering across her features. "You're…serious, aren't you?" she asks, as if it's the strangest thing she could possibly imagine.
There is the slightest wince of Alek's features, bruised eye turned aside though he pushes Senna's dress up further until it bares most of her legs. He questions with dry humor, "Should I not be?"
"No," Senna assures him, hooking a finger at the neckline of his shirt to pull him closer and claim his lips once more. There's another nip this time, almost chiding. "I'm not a girl who enjoyed being tied down, Blacksword," she murmurs, though her lips curve wickedly against his. "Figuratively speaking, at least."
"I think you will find you will be tied in any case. You will miss me when I leave," Alek answers, the hint of promise to his words where they draw warm and slow like honey. He steals his own kiss in turn, a thorough, languishing thing with tongue and lips as his finger drag over bare thighs. "Would you like a glass of wine?"
Senna laughs low, shaking her head slightly. "I imagine that's what you tell all the girls. Though you do have a much more clever tongue than most of the men in the area," she drawls with lazy contentment. Her eyes drift open at the offer of wine, brow arching. "I never turn down a good wine," she assures, running her heel over the back of his thigh. "Though I suppose you'd have to move to get it, wouldn't you?"
A cocky, charming grin curves at Alek's lips, though his words are low where he leans to whisper against Senna's ear, "I will have to show you tonight what it can do between your thighs." His thumb makes a soft circle of a pattern against the outside of said thigh when he draws back, nodding. "It is across the room."
"Not fair at all," Senna murmurs to Alek's promise, lips curving slowly against his cheek. There's a sigh at the wine's location, though, and she shifts to peer around him in search of it. "That's a thorny dilemma, isn't it?" Reluctantly, she lets her leg fall from around him, giving his chest a light push. "Wine first. And maybe you can get me drunk enough to agree to follow you to Oldstones for a time, at least."
"I am sure I can manage at least that, tonight," Alek says without a doubt, a laugh smooth where it slips from his lips. He squeezes her thigh before straightening away, moving to fetch wine for the both of them.
Senna slips from the nightstand when Alek steps back, her skirts falling down once more. It's probably for the best, given the general sturdiness of the piece. "Did you know," she muses, moving behind the knight to slip her arms around his waist and nibble at his ear, "That honey actually has antiseptic properties? If you treat wounds with it, they're less likely to go septic."
"No, but I am sure Anneke will be happy to hear it," Alek replies, offering Senna back her drink as he takes a long draw from his own. "It is a loss that we do not have it here. You could put it on my wounds."
"Your poor, wounded Blacksword, no doubt," Senna drawls, voice rich with amusement as she takes a sip of the wine. "And then I could clean it away. You aren't the only one with a talented tongue," she whispers into his ear before slipping away once more. This time she walks a slow, lazy circuit of the room, trailing a finger over the furniture as she goes. "Oldstones," she muses. "Much on people's tongues, but so much rumor obscures the truth."
It isn't hard to spot the desire that those words bring as Alek twists to watch Senna's project, eyes dark with it where fingers rake through shaggy blond hair. He leans back against the small dining table, asking rather neutrally, "What rumors have you heard?"
Senna shrugs one shoulder to his question. "I heard…" She laughs, smile flashing. "I heard you were all ironmen in disguise. That Oldstones was nothing but tents. That it was the greatest castle short of the Twins. That Lord Anton was not actually Lord Anton. That you had sworn to the Naylands. That you were swearing to the Terricks. That Lady Lucienne was already carrying Lord Anton's child…Rumors all, no doubt."
"Mayhap they are all true. Then, perhaps, I could take you as a saltwife and give you no choice in coming back with me," Alek answers with a wicked grin of his own, twisting the dagger laying on the table idly. "I doubt Lord Anton would plant his seed in Lady Lucienne's belly before they are married, however. It is not what he wants the lady for."
"Isn't it?" Senna arches a brow, moving to perch on the edge of the table, legs crossed as she leans back on one hand. "I'm reasonably certain that's what most men want most women for." She gives her glass a swirl, then sips again, eyes drifting closed in appreciation. "Certainly what one wants a salt wife for."
"Think for a moment, Senna. What good would impregnating the Lady Lucienne before their marriage do for Lord Anton?" is all Alek murmurs dismissively, finished off his own glass in another sip and setting it aside. "But if I am to convince you to come back with me, I doubt it is going to be with this subject, or this use of my tongue."
"If the Terricks were resistant to the idea of the wedding, it might encourage them to reconsider it," Senna suggests as she sips again, then flicks her fingers dismissively. "But it is one of the less likely rumors. The ladyfolk like it, though," she laughs. "It helps them explain to themselves why the handsome Lord Anton isn't interested in them." She watches him as he sets the glass down, smile curving.
"Should I do my best to quell their heartbreak then, to stop these rumors?" Alek questions innocently, closing the distance between them again with the wine emptied. He catches at her waist, hands warm and firm.
"Oh, indeed," Senna laughs, taking another long swallow before setting her glass aside with his approach. "Comfort them all, so that they may weep no more over the fair Lord Anton. It's only right for a man to take care of such onerous duties for his liege lord." She reaches up to drag her fingers through his hair, catching and holding his gaze with a lazy smile. "You are a pretty bunch, aren't you?" she murmurs, amused.
"The better to dazzle everyone before they figure us out," Alek answers, nuzzling her neck before nipping at the hollow under her jaw. He lifts her, holding her close as he shifts to drop her on the bed.
"Is that it?" There's a surprised noise in the back of Senna's throat when he lifts her, arms wrapping quickly around his neck. "A very clever plan, Ser Blacksword." Dropped onto the bed, she shifts to lie on her side, propping her head up on one hand to watch him.
Alek leanns over the bed, catching the hem of her dress to lift it once again with an easy smile. "It works better with women not as observant as you, beautiful," he compliments offhandedly.
Senna lifts her hips as he pushes her dress up, baring a length of leg and…no smallclothes. "I would imagine it does," she agrees with a laugh. "The majority of people in general are easily distracted by pretty things. Personally, I prefer to simply enjoy them."
"I will make your distraction very enjoyable," Alek promises with a surety to the smooth words before he moves to press a kiss to her inner thigh. The rest of what he does is probably frowned upon in Westeros, if it is anything like medieval times.
Talking about it may be frowned upon, but there's no frowning upon it in this room. And by the time he's finished, Senna is limp as a dishrag on the bed, her cheeks flushes and her breathing heavy. And for once, she has absolutely nothing clever to say.
When he's finished, Alek is quick enough to stretch out against Senna, an arm trapping her against him where he nuzzles drunkenly into her hair. He probably doesn't take long to fall asleep, after getting his own satisfaction.