|Summary:||Kamron has some news for Nedra, and Nedra and Saffron hit it off.|
|Related Logs:||I Do Love Nothing in The World. Followed immediately by The Burn.|
|Reading Room, Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.|
|09 June, 289|
Kamron has sent his gawky squire Percival to see if his sister has time to meet with him in the reading room to catch her up on events at The Roost, and now awaits her pleasure. To keep himself busy, the knight has been pouring over a series of maps on one of the tables along a wall. Unconsciously, his left arm has curled in to hang close against his stomach, as if he were still wearing the sling that he took off only days ago. He is still in mourning attire, black on black with only a single touch of steel at his collar and waist.
With the guidance of the gawky squire that Kamron sent to lead the way through the somewhat puzzling lay out of the tower, Nedra arrives soon after being invited, her Septa walking along at a companionable pace alongside. Nedra is speaking quietly to Anathe while walking, pointing out bits of architecture or furnishings that catch her eye. Upon gaining the reading room with it's large glass window and the shelves of books and other things of interest she pauses just at the threshold and turns in a slow circle, a look of surprised pleasure upon her face. "Kamron!" she says, delighted, and heads for her brother with equal pleasure at seeing him as delight in such a room to be found.
Kamron turns about as the door opens, his usual crooked grin leaping onto his lips. "Nedra." Very carefully, he then bows his head to the woman behind her, "Septa Anathe. it's good to see you again as well, of course." Leaving the maps where they are, he moves over to lean in and give his sister a kiss on the cheek. "You mean Percy didn't tell you why he was bringing you here?" He laughs and mock-scowls at his squire, "Percy! How could you?" The painfully thin youth blushes bright, "Um. S-sorry, Ser. Um. Lady."
Nedra shakes her head at Kamron even as she gives her brother a quick and somewhat fierce hug, further evidence that she's missed her brother beyond just for familial sake. "It's not that," she says, shaking her head, looking faintly chagrined, "I'm still just glad to see you, that's all." This said as Anathe tilts her head in a formal but cordial bow, giving a quick bob of a curtsy as well, "It is good to see you again as well, Master Mallister," Anathe says with a small smile on her usually so composed face. Nedra, meanwhile, is giving Kamron another careful once-over look to reassure herself of his general well being.
Kamron returns the hug happily, catching that once-over, and narrowing his eyes, "I'm alright, Neddie. I promise." He chuckles and moves over to one of the chairs, patting the back of it in invitation. "The shoulder's healing real well. Muirenn's got some salve that I've been putting on it and it only hurts when I yank on it." Assuming she comes to sit down, he moves around to sit in the chair opposite, "I've got something to tell you, Neddie." And there he is being serious.
"You'd tell me you were alright if you were bleeding," Nedra counters even as she walks over to the chair he gestures her toward and seats herself, smoothing her gown with both hands and watching Kamron with curiosity as he seats himself opposite. "You'd tell me it was just a scratch, and I well know it," she gently admonishes. She folds her hands together in her lap as Anathe discreetly steps back from the room and out into the hall. "The look on your face worries me, what is it?"
Kamron waves off the counter, "I would be, so long as I was still bleeding." He draws in a deep breath, then lets it out in a long, slow hiss, "Well, there's a whole load of sh — " He looks to Anathe, and shifts tacks, "a whole big mess going on at The Roost, but I'll get to that in a moment." Another deep breath and a long, slow release. The knight must be working himself up to something big. "I've asked Lord Mallister to request a betrothal for me. A particular one."
Nedra's eyebrows wing upward in surprise, "You have?" she asks, startled in silence after her first to words. Her expression is a mix of emotions, surprise - certainly. Curiosity - almost as as immediately evident, of course. Happiness chases both expressions as she leans forward, reaching for his hands with hers, "Who?" she makes all of those emotions pour into that one word.
Kamron squeezes those hands back, gently grinning, "Lady Saffron Banefort." And there's that burst of a smile, a light to his blue-gray eyes. "You met her out in front of the Inn the other day." Leaning forward, he lowers his voice, "Until her father responds, I'm keeping it a secret. I haven't even told Martyn or Muirenn, let alone Lady Saffron." Yes, he's actually still calling her 'Lady Saffron,' even in private.
Nedra smiles suddenly, the burst of smile on his face sparking the one on hers as she searches his eyes. "You're happy," she says quietly, nodding after she makes this statement, for it isn't a question she frames with her words. "You're happy and just saying her name, thinking of her, brings this smile to your face, to your eyes. If she makes you happy, then I'm sure that I'll be just as happy to call her good sister when she becomes a member of our family." She nods then, "I will keep this silent as well, of course. When did you make the request?" she wonders.
And that's enough to raise a blush on Kamron's face, "Yes." Extricating one of his hands from hers, he points across the way at his sister, "'If.' If she becomes a member of the family. I'm not going to put a curse on the whole thing now." Shifting a bit in his seat, he glances southward, "Lord Mallister sent the inquiry a few days ago. At least, I had a letter from him yesterday saying he had written."
Nedra laughs softly, seeing the blush rise on Kamron's face, merriment sparkling in her eyes. "Alright," she says, " 'If' she becomes a member of the family. May I at least come to know her all the same?" she asks, even putting the question in her most polite and winsome tone of voice.
Kamron nods his head sharply, "Please do. I'm sure the two of you will hit it off wonderfully." He laughs softly, "She's funny, intelligent, charming…" His grin curls up at one corner, getting a bit of a mischievous cast, "And she loves to walk about barefoot. Escapes from her chaperone just to do it." Once more, a hint of a laugh rises to his lips, "Speaking of which, her minder, Mistress Morla Fielding, is on my side, if there's such a thing as my side. She thinks we would make a good match."
"She sounds like the good balance to your somber, dour, grim, serious, and stern character," Nedra replies, her expression perfectly straight, not even the smallest bit of a twitch along her lips as she says all of this, perfectly straight faced. She even manages to hold the straight face for a span of a handful of heat beats before she bursts into laughter. "Anyone who enjoys walking about barefoot is someone that I just know I can be friends with. Have you taught her how to fish yet?" she asks, eyes sparkling with mischief of her own. "And I"ll be sure to be both polite AND friendly to her minder," she promises, "it always helps to be nice, you know, the staff and servants know everything, see everything, hear everything."
Kamron laughs alight at that comparison, looking about for something suitably light and non-valuable, "You're lucky I don't want to throw any books at you, Neddie." The question draws a shake of his head, "No… But the Banefort is a port city too. I'm sure she's done it before, even if she's not the sailor that you or I are." Reaching up, the knight rubs at his temples with the fingers of his right hand, "There's just been so damned much to do around here, Neddie. There isn't enough food, enough coin, enough anything but trouble here at The Roost. We've all be doing everything we can…" he chuckles dryly, "I've been building cottages for gods' sake."
"I so want to ask if any of them fell over after the first good wind," Nedra remarks, again that small smile forming on her face, "but I won't. I know that if you're building cottages you're building them solidly," she gives Kamon's hand another small squeeze before leaning back, resting her hands in her lap again. "What can I do to help?" she asks in a quiet and serious tone of voice. "And I promise to stay out of trouble," she says hastily. "Mother and Father are going to push my name forward soon to find a suitable husband, and I know it. Until then, I just.. I need to do something … useful. So, how can I help?"
Kamron is sitting opposite his sister, just now leaning back and crossing his left leg over his right, "I'm just grunt force labor. There are people who actually know how to build the things directing the action." At her question, he gestures out toward the doors, "I might suggest asking Lady Anais, the Young Lord's wife and Lady Saffron's cousin. She can usually find something to do. I know that Lady Saffron is spending some time with some of the orphans of The Roost, so that their usual watchers can get work done."
And speaking of Lady Saffron, here she is! She has been in and out of the reading room over the day, collecting as much information she can about the Riverlands as Morla has been fairly insistent to their importance. This has been the only hint she has been given as to who has been seeking her hand in wedlock. Frustrated by Morla's adeptness at keeping secrets, she is back again with a slight scowl on her lips. Her cinnamon hair is down and loose, swishing about her shoulders and back as she walks. She halts a few steps into the room, expecting once more that it would be empty. She looks as if she might try to sneak back out again…
Nedra nods in response to Kamron's words, "I will be sure to do so, at the first opportunity," she promises. "It's the very least that I can do. And," she gives another small glimpse of a smile, "you know mother. She sent me with enough food on the journey to feed a small village. Let alone myself, Anathe and the armsmen. That and all of her ladies did all manner of needle work for you, so if you have per chance run out of decorated kerchief, I have a rather tidy pack of them to deliver along with the best wishes and well thoughts of all, of course." Rising from her chair she is turning toward the window, "There are so many children orphaned, so many good men and women widowed by all of this, so many that just won't ever come home," and her lips press together, a solemn look forming on her face as she is turning. As she turns, however, she spots Lady Saffron entering the reading room and the solemn look is replaced by a smile of welcome, "Good day and greetings to you, Lady Banefort," she offers along with a small dip of a curtsy.
Kamron chuckles at the mention of the needlework, "It seems everyone is making me needlework. Lady Muirenn said she was doing some stitchwork for me as well." As the door opens, Kamron looks up, and a smile blossoms on his features as he recognizes the newcomer. He rises from his seat, bowing his head, "My Lady Saffron. Please, do not leave on our account." Gesturing back to his sister, he adds, "I was telling my dear sister about those little scamps you've been watching over."
Blast, she's been spotted! Saffron had nearly turned when she is brought back around with a small smile toward brother and sister. "I'm quite sorry… I didn't mean to interrupt. I know you two have not much time to catch up." She clasps her hands behind her back, though she does offer Kamron a small smile. With slow steps, she begins to approach the Mallister pair. "And scamps they are… four boys and two girls total, with the youngest of four and the oldest of eleven. We were going to picnic tomorrow, if either of you wanted to join us."
"It's no intrusion," Nedra says with a small shake of her head, the smile remaining upon her face, "and we have plenty of time to catch up. He's my brother, after all, it is his lot in life to be plagued by me for all eternity," she promises with a quick glimpse of a grin. "One conversation more or less will not free him from this torture," a glimpse of impish delight as she glances to Kamron and back. "And it sounds lovely," she adds, "I'd be delighted to join you."
Kamron grins crookedly at Saffron, "Well, with such a good role-model, I'm sure they will be good, honest…" He lets his next word hang, and then finishes with a laugh, "rapscallions." Moving around behind the chair he had recently claimed, the one opposite his sister, the knight pats the top of the seat in invitation. Looking back to said sister, he offers a softer smile, "It is a plague I will gladly carry, especially that I might be a carrier to introduce it to one of my good friends." The invitation does not leave him to hesitate at all, only waiting until Nedra has answered before altering the statement, "We would be delighted to join you and your charges, My Lady."
At the invitation, the redhead Banefort graces forward to claim the offered seat. She smiles softly to Kamron, almost shyly. She sweeps her skirts against her rump as she sits, and she smiles brightly to Nedra. "That's wonderful. I had promised them the picnic when they heard of me leaving for Lady Rosanna's, and I had said we would go when I returned." She tightens up her lips a bit, speaking as best she can about the unfortunate happenings of the noblewoman's picnic. "And well, I'm due to keep my promise."
Nedra laughs, shaking her head at Kamron, "Of all the things to foist off on your friends, my humor, you should warn them all in advance," she suggests with another glimpse of a grin before turning back to Lady Saffron, a look of delight in her eyes once Kamron amends her words with his. "Our mother sent along a rather generous package of food and such and I have a several handfuls of apples and other things that simply must be eaten before they start to age. Would it be alright if we were to bring them along?"
Kamron starts to walk about behind the seat, pausing to touch Saffron's shoulder as he comes around the last turn and she speaks of the bandit's cave. It's only a momentary thing, but meant to give comfort. Continuing on, he takes his own seat in a chair between the two ladies. "And now you are returned from the picnic, Lady Saffron." Crossing his left leg over his right, "I think my own unceasing sense of humor should be warning enough, my dear sister. To survive such as that, you would have to develop a counter."
"That would be incredibly generous of you, Lady Nedra," Saffron says brightly. "They have not had an apple for so long, you will be instantly be loved more than any in the Roost." She glances up toward Kamron with a slight dimpling, though she seems almost shy to be before his sister. Quite a difference from her usual free-spirited behavior. She does tilt her head just a bit toward the knight as he rests a hand on her shoulder, and then she regards the two Mallisters with warm blue eyes. "We will stick to the Green, so there won't be far to travel."
"The best foil would be droll wit, resilient personal fortitude and the ability to laugh at the things that make fools of us all," Nedra suggests with a firm nod. She sees the brief touch of Kamron's hand to Lady Saffron's shoulder and glances down at her hands, smooths a small wrinkle out of her gown to hide the smile on her face before composing her expression into more genial lines. "Then I'll be sure to bring all the ones that remain in the hamper," she promises. "
Kamron arches his eyebrows at the news of the location, "Well then… perhaps Percy and I might tilt at the quintain to entertain the boys." There's a pause, and he laughs lightly, adding, "And the girls, since they have enjoyed their time with you, Lady Saffron." Laughing softly at Nedra's words, "And don't you have those as well, sister mine?"
Saffron laughs softly at Kamron's suggestion and the banter between sister and brother. "I'm sure a small tilting demonstration would bring them much joy, Ser Kamron… and what brings them joy also brings me joy, and you would certainly not see that I don't find joy?" She almost teases the knight with earnest, and she grants Nedra a small grin. The Lady looks almost forlornly then toward the stacks of books she has been working through, but it is a passing glance.
Nedra laughs, lifting one hand and rests it at the base of her throat, "Well aimed, brother mine!" she retorts, a look of mock injury on her face. "Alas, my poor attempts at perfect foil fall far short. I shall endeavor to strengthen my resolve and be even more droll and resilient!" She follows Lady saffron's remarks before she grins in return, finding the phrasing both convoluted and clever, glancing toward Kamron to see how he fields this particular volley. "I'm sure that my brother would never seek to fail to endeavor to forgo doing things that would fail to give you joy," she suggests firmly.
Kamron raises a finger as Saffron begins her collection of logic, the digit bouncing from side to side as he follows it. And then Nedra adds her own words in, and he points across to his sister, "Then we are one and one." And then that digit is bouncing once more, his brows drawing down as he follows the twists and turns of resounding negativity. Laughing softly, he shakes his head, "I cannot argue with that. No… truly, I cannot, because I do not think I can follow it. But if I take my sister's meaning correctly, My Lady Saffron, her intent is mine, that I would never wish to disappoint your wish for joy." His scar-topped eyebrow raises mischievously then, "Just as I would for any charming, lovely, intelligent lady of such good birth and breeding."
Saffron grins toward Nedra. "Your brother has quite a thick skin to teasing… I suspect that you are responsible for that." And then she looks toward Kamron with the slightest pink at her cheeks, and she bows her head gently. "Thank you for that, Ser Kamron." She says in a warm note before she slowly begins to rise from the chair as those books on that table still vex her. "Did you hear of Mistress Morla's latest assignment from on high? I am to learn all I can about the heraldry and history of the Riverlands. She will begin testing my knowledge in a fortnight's time." She snorts indignantly. "Further preparation for my nameless Riverlander lord, I suspect."
Nedra casts a quick grin at Kamron, "It's important to keep the tally accurate," she says with another wide thread of impish delight in her expression. This, of course, before she commiserates with Lady Saffron by saying, "If she sets you to the task of stitching perfect copies of all the banners and coats of arms, do let me know," she volunteers. "Our lady mother assigned me a similar task, some years ago, and i spent one winter stitching - pulling - re-stitching until they passed inspection. I dare say that I dreamed of colors and and ancestry lineage for more moons than I wish to admit to!"
Kamron nods his agreement at Saffron's suspicions, following her movement over to the stack of books. He blinks as Nedra speaks up again, covering his grin with his left hand as he looks back to her. From behind his fingers, he says, "Oh, I'm sure he has a name, Lady Saffron. But you're sure he's a Riverlord? Last I heard Punbah's money was on the Vale, and Timmen's on the North. Surely they won't both be disappointed…" He gestures to himself and his sister, "You do have two native Riverlanders here, who were, as my sister says, quite closely taught the arms and words of the Riverland houses." The roguish crook in his grin can be heard even from behind his hand, "You might make use of us…"
Saffron peers over at Kamron. "So I heard," she says in a dry tone. "But no, Morla broke down enough to tell me its the Riverlands. I think its Maidenpool." She sighs as she draws back one of the heraldry books. But, even as she turns the heavy pages to the Mallister family tree, she looks over toward the pair. "I wouldn't want to burden you with my own studies." Then she offers them a small smile. "But I won't turn down a earnest offer to help." She pulls the book forward, holding its greatness in her arms as she returns to the chair she had vacated.
Nedra casts a sidelong glance at Kamron, hearing the grin in his voice even as his hand conceals this tell tale expression. "Mother would be both mortified and horrified if we didn't share all the knowledge that she drummed into our skulls," she smiles back at Lady Saffron. "The Mallister crest really should be a rock with a broken axe beside it, so thick are our collective skulls," she admits with another glimpse of impish humor in her eyes. "Now," she wonders, rising from her seat to move through the room, studying the edges of the scrolls arranged on the shelves, "do you wish to learn the Heraldry according to the name of each House, by geographical location or by current persuasive influence?"
Kamron leans back in his chair then, tapping his fingers on the arm gently, "Let's see… Maidenpool. House Mooton. Arms, a red salmon on white, with a gold rim. Words…" he thinks a moment longer, "Words… hells if I know. Something wise and strong, I'm sure." He chortles at that, "They chose the wrong side in Robert's Rebellion, I know that. I remember seeing the Salmon off on the Royalist left at the Trident, facing Lord Stark's men." He quiets then for Nedra, laughing at her comparison, "Don't tell Martyn, Nedra. They already started calling him the Rock of Seagard after Harlaw."
Saffron looks over to Nedra at her offer of assistance, and she smiles at the sweet blond with a genuine dimpling. "Lets do it by the latter if its not too much trouble." She glances up toward Kamron at his assessment of the Mootons, and she frowns a bit. "Great, so I will have arguments like I had with Lady Rosanna." She puffs out her cheeks. "I suppose I must learn to deal with that." She glances over toward Nedra. "My father was displeased his brother waited so long to join Robert's side. My mother was at court when the Starks were…" And she lets that drift off, shaking her head. "Tell me about the Mallisters," she asks gently.
"Well, to start with," Nedra says as she turns away from the racks of the scrolls and smiles at Lady Saffron. "Our banner is purple with a rampant eagle framed behind a tower," she offers, glancing at Kamron, "though I would wager you've seen the banner before, yes?"
Kamron shrugs helplessly at Saffron's mention of arguments, "One cannot always get the match he or she wants. Sometimes, it's possible, however." There's a quirk in his grin, but it fades away as she continues, "My cousin Jeffory went with Lord Brandon." The words are quiet, hushed. He keeps quiet then as Nedra begins to answer Saffron's question, his eyes staring down at the floor between his boots. He blinks at the glance over to him by his sister, and he offers his smile once more, "More importantly, however, is the fact that the Mallisters have been the Defenders of the Western Short for centuries, Lady Saffron."
"Oh yes, but I imagine I will see it closer up during the tournament to honor Lord Mallister and his match." Saffron looks from Nedra to Kamron now, and her own smile falters a bit as he stares at his boots. Then she meets his smile when he looks up, her expression soft. "For centuries, you say? That must make for a good match what with the Redwynes, expands that defense?" She inquires with a hopeful note in her voice, as if she hopes she has gotten that right.
Nedra starts to speak again when Anathe steps into the doorway, a worried look upon her Septa's face. "Oh dear," she says before Anathe even speaks, "I must go tend to something. I'll be back shortly," she promises and heads for the door, brushing one hand against Kamron's shoulder on her way to the door and smiles at Lady Saffron, "I'll draw up a list, if that'll help, of the houses and pertinent facts," she offers before slipping through the door.
Kamron nods his head at Saffron's question, then looks over to Nedra as she rises to her Septa's call. He stands as well, reaching up to pat the hand on his shoulder briefly, a purely brotherly gesture. "Take care, Nedra." As she leaves, he settles down into his chair again, "Hopefully so, Lady Saffron. Provided that the marriage is a good and true one, it will tie together two of the naval powers of Westeros." His left foot bounces lightly, "Are you sure your reputation is safe here without Mistress Morla or Master Punbah, My Lady?"