Page 285: Two Roses in a Garden
Two Roses in a Garden
Summary: Ladies Rosanna and Roslyn discuss the happenings of the day before and what is to come.
Date: April 30, 2012
Related Logs: Eschaton of Stonebridge and a little Pretty Words
Roslyn Rosanna 
Gardens — Tordane Tower
The rose garden of House Tordane is about three hundred square feet and hemmed in by walls about eye level to keep out the attention of wildlife. Bees hum about the area and around the stone archway which has seen the flowers grow up over and nearly encase in solid vine. The scent is sweet, mixing with the air coming off the water to produce an atmosphere some might find extremely calming. Stone benches have been chiseled out and placed along the path for visitors to relax on.
April 30, 289

Can one have the air of waiting for something when simply sitting in a garden? Roslyn certainly is, her fingers folded within her skirts as her gaze flicks towards the door that leads from the Tower. Though she has not moved so that she loses sight of that doorway, she has chosen a less obtrusive bench for her outpost than merely sitting in front of it. She wears no Nayland colors, though there is a certain similarity in her features to her more recognizable kin, a similar tone to chocolate curls that frame her face. Her maid sits nearby, for all that she is in no danger of losing any prospects based on rumors of inappropriateness, but the woman seems more engrossed with the book she is reading than paying any attention to her lady.

With a younger reputation to protect, Rosanna is certainly trailed by her handmaiden when she makes her way into the gardens. She's near to humming with a certain energy of action the day before, he eyes bright and fingers a bit restless. "Oh," she says when she happens upon Roslyn. She narrows her gaze but slightly on the Nayland lady, perhaps knowing that she ought to know her. "I don't believe we've met, my lady," she says instead of anything more overt. She dips in a quick curtsy. "I am Lady Rosanna Groves."

Caught, Roslyn is slow to drag her gaze to the young woman, though she gathers herself to stand and offer a simple curtsy of her own. "We have not, my lady. I am Lady Roslyn Nayland of the Mire," she answers politely, a small smile tucked within the corners of her lips. Her gaze flicks back to the door for a moment before settling on the young lady. "Are you a guest of the Tower? I am afraid I have not been here long."

"Oh," Rosanna says again, this time with more interest. "It's a pleasure, Lady Nayland. I do have the honor of being a guest of your brother, yes — myself and my own brother, Lord Kittridge." Her gaze flicks in turn to the door that Roslyn seems preoccupied with. "Are you expecting someone, my lady?"

"I am certain my brother is pleased to have you as well," Roslyn replies, at ease with traded compliments and pretty words where she inclines a nod softly. "Not—expecting." A pause, as those still pools draw back to Rosanna with a careful look. "You were at the duel with the Lady Westerling, were you not? I think I remember you standing, with her."

"Ah — yes, my lady." Here Rosanna has mind enough to choose her words carefully for once. "I had no idea what she had done; I only knew that she was friendly with Ser Gedeon. I was shocked by what she announced."

"As were we all, but I am sure the lady was stricken with grief. She certainly seemed so," murmurs Roslyn simply, almost dismissive and forgiving as she refolds her hands within her skirts. "I only ask, because I wish to meet the lady, and I thought you may know where to find her. I take it she has retired from the tower?"

"She did, indeed." Rosanna arches one slim brow as she considers Roslyn. "I do not know," she admits. "I have not seen fit to seek her out since the duel."

"Truly, or because my name is Nayland?" Roslyn questions with soft, wry humor. The twist of her smile is self-deprecating and apologetic.

"Your family has been nothing but gracious and kind," Rosanna says with a low soothe in her voice. "Lady Danae and I have been friendly, but this is a bold move she has taken. I truly have not seen her."

Roslyn's smile warms at Rosanna's words, her chin tipping in agreement. But when she presses on, it is only to reply with quiet disappointment, "I must admit, I wish you had. You have to know that the lady has caught my brother's attention?"

Both of Rosanna's brows arch upwards at that. "I had not heard that, no," she says, a hint of interest in her eyes as she steps closer. "May I sit with you, my lady?"

"Of course, Lady Rosanna. I would enjoy your company," Roslyn answers warmly, sweeping back to the bench with a swish of skirts as she settles herself once again. She inclines her head to the empty spot beside her, an invitation.

Rosanna seats herself with a graceful swish of skirts and smooths her hands down her lap. "Your brother must be very upset, then," she says, unwavering on the gossipy topic. "There is — word about that his reaction was quite strong, but no real idea why."

"His feelings for the lady are rather overwhelming, and for good intent. He only wants what is best for her, of course, but I believe he means to seek her out to speak with her on this." The words are carefully formed, precise in a way as Roslyn replies for her absent brother. She offers another small smile towards the younger woman, adding, "We all only hope this announcement of hers was a misunderstanding, a moment of grief making her speak rashly."

"I don't think her grief would have tricked her into remembering a wedding that didn't happen," Rosanna says a bit bluntly.

"But perhaps to speak on one, even if it had not," Roslyn replies quietly, apologetic almost as her gaze draws away from the younger woman to sweep over the gardens for a moment.

"Lady Danae is not a rash woman, I do not think. I'm sure if she spoke of her husband, she quite well believes she married," Rosanna says, a bit blithe in her frankness.

"When would this marriage have taken place, that no one would know of it?" is questioned quietly, not disbelieving but rather curious as Roslyn's attention slips back to Rosanna.

"Well, I certainly hope someone knows of it," Rosanna says, her smile slipping a bit wryly. "It would be very foolish indeed if they wed without witnesses. But, foolish as the whole thing is, it does seem a thing to keep secret."

Her own smile softening, Roslyn replies, "It seems to me that any marriage should be a celebrated occasion, not one to keep secret, my lady. Why would one need to hide a marriage that is made before the Seven?"

"Would you want to proclaim your marriage to a legitimized bastard who was to duel for his keep on the morn?" Rosanna says a touch dryly.

"A marriage done in secret confers more shame, regardless of the circumstance. I would, Lady Rosanna." There is a firm surety to her words, for all that Roslyn's brow curves all the higher with a hint of humor, a subtle gesture over herself that could speak to many things. Most of all, perhaps, that no one is rushing to marry a woman her age.

"Well, there's no avoiding the shame of it," Rosanna says carelessly. "She is rather stuck with that, I imagine."

"It saddens me, all of it. It is a hard path she chose," Roslyn agrees, more care to her words as a frown begins to curve her lips.

"Indeed," Rosanna agrees. "And one with little chance of a good outcome for her."

Roslyn considers the girl for a long moment at her words, hazel eyes drawing over features with a subtle sweep. Finally, she questions, "If you were where she is now, Lady Rosanna, what would you do? If you had married, and your husband had lost."

"I don't think I would have married under such conditions," Rosanna says, just a bit dry once more.

"Of course. You seem like a smart girl, my lady. But imagine if you had," Roslyn counters politely.

"If I had," Rosanna echoes, humoring her. "Well, I'm certain there would be some temptation to forget the wedding altogether. That would become more difficult, however, if I were with child. A legitimate child under such conditions is still preferable to a bastard."

"If there had been no wedding and thus no need to have a proper mourning period, she could marry quickly, however." It is a quiet, thoughtful suggestion that Roslyn makes. She adds, "In theory, of course."

"Is there someone who would wish another wedding for her?" Rosanna wonders, brow arching prettily.

"My brother has much admired the lady, and carries strong feelings for her," Roslyn answers carefully.

"I wonder that he did not seek her hand before, then," Rosanna answers with an air of innocence.

Smile quirking wry, Roslyn replies, "Well, I cannot speak on Riordan's intelligence, but I can speak on his sense of honor and duty. Any wish he would have had to seek her hand, he would only do so with our father's permission, and that takes time, my lady."

"Of course," Rosanna demurs. "Naturally. Alliances are always a — complicated matter."

That demural earns a lingering look from Roslyn, an attempt at studying the woman that ends in only a murmured, "Our lord father only wishes what any would in a gooddaughter, confidence and capability. And the ability to work with us towards Nayland goals, of course."

"I've no doubt, my lady." Rosanna's gaze lingers in a returning study, but her chin lifts with every display of said confidence.

It is a long moment before Roslyn speaks again, but her words are polite and warm where she compliments, "You are quite the remarkable young lady, Rosanna Groves. It has been a pleasure to talk to you, and a surprise."

Rosanna's smile widens warmly at Roslyn's compliment. "That is very kind and gracious of you to say so, Lady Roslyn," she replies. "I am glad that you have had reason to visit Stonebridge, however — dire a reason it may have been."

"It is Riordan's and my own hope that I will be able to return for longer, my lady. It will be well worth it, if I may have more conversation such as this with you," Roslyn replies quietly, a smile softening her features.

"I would very much enjoy that, I think," Rosanna offers in return, her own smile sparked with a certain interest. "Or I may visit your home someday. Lord Rutger was kind enough to invite me."

"Oh, you must. In a day or so, we are traveling back ourselves, the Lord Regent and I. I am sure Lord Rutger would pleased to see you join us," Roslyn suggests with a quick smile, bright energy in the suggestion as she reaches to clasp Rosanna's hand.

Rosanna's smile flickers a touch as Roslyn clasps her hand before it refirms. "Perhaps," she says. "I will have to speak with my brother. He is looking after me, I'm afraid. You know how brothers are, I'm sure." She shares a more personal sort of smile.

A laugh catches on Roslyn's lips as she tips her chin in agreement, answering, "I do. Invite him to join us, if you must, or convince him to place you in my care. I would never see any harm come to your reputation."

"Of course not, Lady Roslyn," Rosanna agrees with every confidence. "He is just protective of me is all. I'm sure it won't be a problem if he comes as well."

"I loo forward to meeting your brother then, Lady Rosanna. If he takes anything after you, surely he will be an interesting companion," Roslyn replies politely, the smile still playing at her lips.

"Oh, he's a very pleasant sort, if nothing else," Rosanna assures Roslyn. "Most people like Kittridge. He's just that sort."

Nodding carefully, Roslyn says quickly, "Then he must come, even if he did not already insist on it. I would like it very much if the two of you see something of our home, Lord Rutger's and Riordan's and mine."

"Then I shall convince him that we must," Rosanna assures the Nayland, closing her other hand atop their clasped ones. "What is it like there? Your home?"

"It is—organized, proper. The land itself is pretty, if dangerous. Nighttime on the marsh is unforgettable, but you would not want to wander away," Roslyn answers slowly, growing a bit distracted as she tries to paint an appealing picture for the younger girl. "It does not have the commerce that you see here in Stonebridge, nor do we have many visitors, but it is an intimate place, the fortress."

"I see." Rosanna's expression is carefully masked in a polite neutrality as she listens. "I'm sure it's very lovely, Lady Roslyn. But then, I will be able to see for myself soon, Gods willing."

"Gods and your brother both. I am sure you are capable of convincing him, however," Roslyn adds conspiratorially.

"Oh, I'm sure I can," Rosanna says with easy vanity. "It would be terribly rude to refuse such a gracious invitation, would it not?"

"Lord Rutger and I would be much put out." Lady Roslyn adds a warm smile to her words, however, an easy, affectionate thing.

With a bright bubble of laughter, Rosanna says, "Well, I will just have to inform him of such. It would not do to put either of you out."

"Then I must find at least one of my own brothers, to inform them that you are likely to join us when we travel back," Roslyn says even as she moves to rise, fingers smoothing over her skirts as she offers a last smile to the lady. "It was a pleasure, — May I call you Rosanna?"

Rosanna hesitates a moment, catching her bottom lip briefly between her teeth. Then she smiles. "I have every wish to know you better, Lady Roslyn. I would not wish to sully either of our manners with overhasty intimacies, as much as they honor me."

"Of course. I can understand you to be hesitant that someone may hear of it and jump to conclusions too soon about your closeness to our family," Roslyn agrees simply, offering a touch of a nod to her words as she sweeps another steady look over the girl. "That would not do. I would not wish to do any harm to your prospects."

"I do appreciate your understanding, Lady Roslyn," Rosanna says, standing as well to offer proper leave of the Nayland. "I only wish to remain in the bounds of decorum. I certainly mean no slight."

"There is none taken, Lady Rosanna. Only if you do not try to come visit with us," Roslyn answers with a smile, dropping in a small curtsy to her before she adds, "I wish you a good day, and if you do seek out the Lady Danae, perhaps you can speak to her for me? If she thinks it is best not to speak to me herself."

"I will — do what I can, Lady Roslyn," Rosanna says, a bit — diplomatically. "It is a difficult situation. I only hope it turns out to everyone's advantage."

"As do I. I would wish nothing ill on the lady that my brother has grown fond of. On any lady that a brother of mine has taken to," Roslyn replies in a quiet amend, a sad smile playing at her lips. "Take care, Lady Rosanna, and I hope I will see you again."

There is something just the slightest bit smug in the curve of Rosanna's smile. "Of course, Lady Roslyn. I hope to see you soon as well." She dips in a slight curtsy of farewell.

Hazel eyes linger for a moment on Rosanna as she offers another curtsy of her own, but then Roslyn turns away and retreats into the tower without drawing out further words of farewell.