|Valentine's Day Special|
|Date:||14/02/2013 (OOC Date)|
|Related Logs:||The Fenster wedding at Broadmoor|
|A bedchamber in Broadmoor|
A place of harmony, now given over to discord; of sober calculation, to the violence of overheated blood and passion. A curtain's brass ring knocked aside to leave it flapping loose as the banner of a defeated battalion. A pile of books toppled, one spine fatally impaired. White bedclothes flailed and twisted, the breath beneath them just slacked to ragged, after all the zeal of struggle…
"A queer thing," she muses, "marriage. It's all in the word…" But the bastard, though he may have flagged temporarily, still has little use for words and puns, and as his breath recoups and his eyes, for once more bloodshot than merely chill as moor and mire, gleam wild, he arches forward again, hastening to disrupt by dint of a good, vicious claw his lady's thoughtful musing;
…"Young Lady or no, to marry is but to mar…"
Her damp silken shift, weakened already by the torments it has undergone this night, is no match for his fingers; it tears all the way along one seam, completing the disarray which began an hour before with skirts wrenched out of the way, slippers falling from her feet, a bruise down her back which will last a week or more. "To mar," she echoes, catching his hand and pressing it down against the mattress, his arm stretched across her, the rest of him, inevitably, following, "a life, or two… Unless a third party were to find some means of ameliorating her lot."
"Some means," Maldred Rivers retorts with his sneer cheerfully - yet, somehow, fitfully - back at his service. "Some…obscure…cure…" Enough words perhaps, once again, for the present. Both his hands strike higher now, to rake about in her hair… "I could kill him!" The words aren't quite dry after all, "were it worth the rust to the blade. A life undone is hardly marred. Cut off in his prime. Aye…but then…"
He scowls, does the bastard, some complexity blurring this idyll, as it hampers his vigour a moment, too. He rolls aside, pettish and peevish, clutching at one stray hand absently, but looking as if he may have be lured back into knightly service. "What was it like, my lady. Your wedding night. Tell me again."
"Such a taste you have for the macabre, ser. Or is it the lurid?" The lady arches her neck, tilting her head away from him that she might all the better gauge the interest in his eyes. "Is that how you like to think of me? Stripped of the wedding cloak which betokened my privilege and protection, stripped of my fine blue gown, stripped naked with forty men to gawp at my chilled flesh until I was thrust between the sheets next to an amiable dolt in like condition. The air choked with congratulations upon his good fortune and suggestions as to what he ought to do with me — the air choking me, his kisses choking me…"
The story is different each time she tells it. Sometimes she appears as a tragically misused maiden, sometimes an undaunted heroine, sometimes bewildered, sometimes amused. But this variation, accompanied traditionally by a frisson of distaste, seems the truest.
What the lady will see of the bastard's eyes narrows as her speech progresses, to slits dirty cold and bloody pink. But he does begin to curl back in her direction, as if yanked there on puppet strings. His canines meet and clash like sparking blades in a whetsoned grind of frustration, and the youngish swain's sinewy back tenses still further, coiled to spring. But it is his tongue and no other appurtenance that enacts his next move.
"Blue, then, my lady, was't? Not the silvery grey the Houses would come to share too…that you would come to wear as a veil and a crown 'pon your head?" His right hand whips up to clutch a fistful of the hair in question. "No, mine aunt, no old songs tonight. You may call me pitiful, though 'tis a pity you stirred up yourself, with a demand you made without seeing its end. I wanted your rehearsal…only to think of hers. For it seems I am not indifferent to it, to some Haigh sacrifice. Aunt, what have you done…"
His voice breaks and chokes, and with tears beginning he growls, "It was safer, safer, …like this!" And this is recommenced, in a new steely's raptor's clutch. "Unsafe is no matter, anyway, …but nothing is simple. You have loosed me, aunt, you have lost your falconer and hood and falcon all, and I shall fly…"
In a woman the outburst would be called hysterical, and now it dissipates back into grunts, until the knight of the Crossing, not for the first time that deep midnight, calls the name of the Young Lady of petty Tavin's Rest, in the arms of the remorseless widow of Gallowsgrey.