|Toasting the Squire|
|Summary:||Hugh and Ilaria toast to his victory in the Squire's Melee. And get drunk.|
|Nayland Campsite, Seagard tourney|
|There are things to sit on and a fire and stuff.|
|25th June, 289 AL|
Hugh is sitting next to one of the larger fires, alone. Or mostly alone. He is cleaning armor and making repairs in some of the leather gear. Other servants and those who cannot or don't want to party are wandering around the encampments. Hugh has found some wine, and he cheerfully cleans and takes the occasional sip.
A starry-eyed Ilaria is wandering alongside her handmaiden, Heolla - a tawny-haired maid who seems about three sheets to the wind at this point. The Haigh girl is likely only a fraction more sober than her 'chaperone'. However, a set of guards wearing Haigh livery follow behind a few paces, so it is obvious the girls are not stumbling about at night unprotected.
Ilaria is giggling loudly about something-something being "big as a horse", which only launches her handmaiden into a fit of laughter. Seeing as the girl can no longer walk straight, Ilaria stumbles along and guides her to a seat beside the nearest fire for a brief respite. When she turns to sit down herself, she is stopped short by the sight of Hugh. "You!" Her surprise is obvious.
Hugh looks up at Ilaria in surprise. He stands and bows and accidently knocks his cup of wine over. "Shit!" he says as it starts to get on a leather glove. He grabs up the glove before it gets more than a drop on it. Then, glove rescued, he looks back. "Yes…me? Why shouldn't it be me? "
By now Heolla has slumped down onto the ground, propped up against a log. The maid's head flops back and she begins snoring lightly, much to Ilaria's embarassment. Dusting her hands clean, the young Haigh steps closer to Hugh, and so the guards step closer as well. They eyeball the youth warily despite Ilaria's obvious comfort in his presence.
"I never said it shouldn't be you," she replies, but by now the conversation has ceased to make sense. Her brow wrinkles in confusion. She looks down to the wine soaking into the ground before back up to Hugh's face. "You left the party rather quickly. I only danced *once* but you were gone by the time I finished. Did you get in trouble?"
Hugh laughs a little and shakes his head, "No. I didn't get into trouble, but my Ser and I are riding out tomorrow morning, and I needed to get things ready. Plus…I sorta hurt." He turns to get himself some more wine. "You want some wine?"
Against her better judgment, Ilaria smiles at the offer and accepts with a quiet "Please, and thank you". She sidesteps the downed goblet, careful not to stain her slippers by stepping in the spilled wine, and scoops her skirts beneath her as she takes a seat very close to Hugh. "You were in the tournament." It's more an observation rather than a question. "Which events?"
Hugh turns back around to see Ilaria so close and he starts, almost sloshing the wine again. He hands her a goblet. It's mediocre wine, but it was all Hugh could scrounge. He swallows and sits down. "Yeah…I was in the Squire's Melee…and I helps Ser Jarod in his events." He hesitates and asks curiously, "Did you see the melee?" He kicks the other goblet out of the way.
"No," Ilaria answers quietly, and her frown shows that she is rather displeased to have missed it. She does not continue immediately but instead lifts her goblet to her lips to take a sip of the wine. If the taste offends her, she does not let it show on her face. "I was indisposed at the time and regret it muchly. I did not hear much of anything about the squire's melee, but I did hear that my cousin's husband was a magnificent beast in his own. Who won the squire's?" Twisting the cup about idly in her hands, she looks away for a moment to check for the presence of her guards. Yep, still there.
Hugh takes a drink and then grins and shakes his head, "Well now you'll think I'm just making it up, but I did! I won it! Who is your cousin's husband? Lord Patrek fought too!" And it is as if a dam is broken, so eagerly he speaks about the competition.
Boys and their toys. Still, Ilaria's smile is genuine at hearing Hugh's announcement, and she holds out her cup toward him to top it off with yet more wine. "You did? Of course you did. No girl is ever lucky enough to merely *bump* into the winner of a melee," she answers with a laugh. "So we must toast to your victory past and to your victories future, my lord." Once her glass is full and the toast has been made, she takes a quick gulp before continuing the conversation. "My cousin is Lady Briallyn Westerling, recently wed to Ser Garett Westerling. I heard he was quite the tyrant of the melee, but I believe—Ser Kamron Mallister was victorious that day? Katrin did not tell me the whole of the story, so I am simply hazarding a guess."
Hugh clicks for the toast and tops it off. "Yes, for the regular melee. They both did well. But this was the squire's melee. And I have the helm to prove it! Really, I won." He is not convinced that she believes him. He glances at her guards. "Your family is at Stonebridge, right? I've only been there a week. I've not seen you there before."
Ilaria laughs again at Hugh's eagerness, taking a sip of her wine and rolling the cup between her palms slowly. "And I congratulate you on your victory, my lord. It was hard-earned and hard-won." Pausing as the conversation turns to Stonebridge, she studies Hugh intently for a moment. "Some of my family is in Stonebridge; myself and my siblings to be exact. My family at large remains at Broadmoor, of course. I was sent to foster with the Erenfords - more specifically with a cousin, Lady Ceinlys, and to tutor her daughter. My sister was sent as lady's maid, and my brother is there to handle our family's business interests."
Perhaps that was more than need be said. Ilaria allows a pause to draw out following her words, taking quiet sips of her wine and glancing around to see who might be passing or if they are relatively alone. "Right before the debacle with the Charltons and the Naylands at Stonebridge, we were sent to the Terricks for safekeeping. From there I traveled with friends here to enjoy the tourney. Now that the 'climate' has cooled, I will most likely return to Stonebridge. You said you are departing tomorrow?"
Hugh nods to her, listening carefully, or as carefully as he can having downed the amount of wine he has. "Yes, we will ride back tomorrow. Ser Riordan needs to return to make sure that it stays quiet. You are a tutor?" Of all that, this is what he has chosen to ask about. "But you're not much older than I am, are you? All my tutors have been really old. Do you miss your family?"
"Does he?" For some unspoken reason, Ilaria finds that particular statement to be thoroughly amusing, and she bursts into a fit of giggles that can hardly be interrupted. She nearly misses Hugh's next questions, wiping at her eyes and letting out a sporadic, hiccoughing laugh. "What? Oh, yes, I worked with the girl's Septa to teach her the life of a lady." Sniffling a little, the girl looks up to Hugh with brilliant hazel eyes twinkling in mirth. "It doesn't take a wrinkled old woman to teach that, in any case. Some people say I am much older in spirit. How old are you anyway, my lord?"
Hugh makes a face and shrugs, "What are you laughing about? I am the Lord Regent's squire. It's an honor for me to squire for my cousin." His brow furrows, as though he is deciding whether to be defended or not. The wine affects him in a way to take his edge off, though. "I just turned 15 a few days ago. When I get back to Stonebridge, Ser Jarod is going to take me out to celebrate at the Inn there." And he is waiting!
Ilaria sobers at Hugh's obvious misunderstanding, and she swallows back another sip of wine only to find her cup empty. Well damn. "No, my lord, you misunderstand. I was only laughing at some private joke of mine, but it has naught to do with your honor nor the Regent's. Like so many young bucks you seem to rile at the slightest provocation." Hmm, is her speech a little slurred. Whatever. She holds out her cup to Hugh and gestures, waiting patiently for more wine. "Congratulations on reaching fifteen in one piece, Lord Hugh. That makes you only one year younger than me, which is not so much all told. What shall you and Ser Jarod do to celebrate?"
Hugh turns and gets her more wine. And some wine for him. No wonder Ser Riordan will find him passed out stone cold in the tent later in the evening. "I can't really help but misunderstand if you're not telling me what it is that I'm supposed to understand, is it? Do you understand?" He catches his breath and frowns, trying to replay that sentence in his mind. "No matter. You're not much older than I am, then. And Ser Jarod is going to buy me…um…get…" Now how does one say this exactly without offending? "Um…" One doesn't. "He's going to introduce me to a woman."
Time seems to slow. Right now would be the moment when a wise old man appears out of thin air to lecture her on her options for responding to Hugh's statement… But she chokes on her wine instead, buying herself yet more time as her hand flutters about her throat. A handkerchief appears, and she dabs at her mouth with it, eyeballing Hugh over the lacy white border. "I think fifteen is about the age when knights drag their squires along," she replies in as delicate manner as possible, avoiding having to use words like 'whore' and 'brothel'. "Well, won't it be adventurous? We ladies lead such boring lives in comparison." Mmm, the taste of bitterness washed down with mediocre wine. She uses the handkerchief to wipe a dribble of wine from her chin, staining the cloth in the process.
DUMP: Alek practices his cunning linguistics on the database.
Hugh eyes the handkerchief in an oddly suspicious manner. "Um. Yes, My Lady. But it's not exactly dragging. I mean…" Okay…someone stop him. "I mean…" No one will ever know what he means. "And Riordan may come with us. It…" he gives a nonchalant shrug. "Not nearly as adventurous as other things." He stares at the wine. Bad wine! "What did you do on your 15th?"
Ilaria does not notice Hugh's sudden discomfort, but when she is finished, she folds the handkerchief and tucks it away out of sight. "What could be more adventurous?" she answers, clucking her tongue in a mothering manner as if scolding Hugh for doing prostitutes everywhere the disservice of talking down about their profession. Bad wine, indeed. She giggles suddenly and takes another drink, and by now her head is truly swimming. "On /my/ 15th I said prayers in the morning, attended a service, studied with my Septa, and spoke with my father about potential marriage prospects." More giggling. "At that point I wouldn't have minded a whore myself just to keep the tedium at bay."
And her actually admitting that and using teh word whore seems to set him more at ease. Or at the very least it causes him to spit up wine through his nose as he gives a peal of laughter. "Now, /that/ would be more adventurous! You were asking!" He shakes his head and coughs, wiping his face and trying to get more serious, but still smothering the occasional guffaw. "Prayers and marriage?" He shakes his head again. "I'm sorry. Come with me on my celebration!" More wine? Yes, definitely.
Ilaria tips her head back, downing the rest of her wine in one go. She reaches up to toy with the end of her braid with her free hand while setting aside her empty cup. Perhaps she has had enough wine. She struggles to focus on Hugh, and the sight of him swimming and splitting into two right before her eyes makes her giggle. "Prayers and marriage, dear Lord Hugh: that is what a lady's life consists of once she has hit a certain age, and it is that way until she dies painfully while giving birth." Gods above, but she has such a gloomy outlook on life.
Her mirth knows no bounds, however, as Hugh offers to bring her along to a whorehouse. For a moment she is struck silent, pausing, lost in the decision of whether or not to be amused and offended. In the end she chooses to be amused because it's far easier to laugh than to cry, and she jumps up from her seat only to sway violently and drop back down into it with a loud *oof*. "Oops, oh! What a /scandalous/ affair that would be, my lord! 'Such a well-bred girl' they would say, and 'my heart breaks for her poor mama' they women would weep, and 'her sister shall be lost for certain' and 'no marriage prospects' and 'her father ought to hang her and be done with it' and…well, I don't know what else. Tongues would wag. Do you dance?"
Hugh stands up and sway himself. "Yes," he says and almost falls into the fire, and in doing so, he stumbles on the armor. "Oh…Lady Lady. Um, I have to put this away in the tent, though. But I can dance…a little. My cousin taught me." he heads to teh tent with the armor.
Ilaria is left waiting..and waiting..and before long she has to laugh at herself. Her head still swimming, she rises up from her seat and sways alarmingly, laughing all the while. Her guards rush over to attend to her, and one stops to scoop up Heolla who is still snoring peacefully. "It is late," she murmurs to nobody in particular, eyeing the pavilion once more. But when Hugh does not return, she shrugs and waves to the guards. Leaning heavily against one, she is lead away to her own quarters.