|Well That's Awkward|
|Summary:||Kittridge and Nicodemus actually talk without it being terribly awkward, at least until their sister's name is turned into a euphemism for more than missing a joke. Roslyn comes along and makes things even more awkward.|
|Date:||24 June 2012|
|Related Logs:||Alternative Marriages|
|Seagard - Groves Encampment|
|Outside Kittridge's tent|
|24 June 289|
After Brynner has been suitably feted, Kittridge sits in the dark just outside his tent, close enough to the center of the Groves encampment that non-Groves don't generally wander through. The light inside his tent spills out enough that only half his face is in shadow, as he lounges in a low folding camp chair, nursing a tankard of ale.
Feting Brynner means a bit of feting themselves, and Nicodemus has had his share of ale as they celebrated the general well-fought-ness of both squires in the melee. He grabs a quick jump into a stream to wash, after, and makes his way back to towards his tent, which means passing Kitt's tent on the way. He slows as he sees his twin sitting there half in shadow. "You look pensive," he points out.
"You look… I don't know, since I can't see you," Kittridge fumbles the retort, and takes another swig of ale. He seems for a moment content to leave it at that, or to send Nicodemus on his way, as he generally does since his return. Instead, after a long, admittedly-pensive pause, he informs his twin, "I think I might have to get married."
That makes Nicodemus blink, and he stops his walking all together. "You get someone pregnant?" he asks quietly.
"No," Kittridge replies, tone dry, but not that dry. It's not a totally unreasonable question. "Rutger wants me to marry Roslyn. It'd give us the tie to the Naylands in case they keep Stonebridge without having to give him Rosie. And we'd probably get a good chunk of our surplus back, which we can then re-sell. It's probably a good deal for us."
"Wait," Nicodemus murmurs. He dips into Kittridge's tent and brings out a second chair so that he can plunk down besides Kittridge. "Isn't Roslyn Nayland betrothed to Justin Terrick? And why would Rutger want the union between the Groves and the Naylands through you and Roslyn when he's courting Rosanna?" His eyes narrow. "Is he intending to break with her?" Because while it would be very desirable for Rosanna to dump Rutger, Rosanna being dumped is a punchable offense.
"No, they're not betrothed, they're not even courting. It's just being discussed," Kittridge replies, "And Rutger can tell we don't want to let him have Rosanna. Plus we'd probably make him send his sons away to the Citadel or something as a condition of the betrothal, which, you know, he might not be keen on. He's offering us an alternative. A better one."
Nicodemus considers this a moment, fingers tapping on his knee. "What do you think of her, then? Lady Roslyn?"
Kittridge shrugs. "I like her. She's only a year or two younger than m— us, which is odd for a non-widow, but she's smart, and well-behaved, and pretty. Good in bed." He just slips that in there oh-so-discreetly.
"Uh." Nicodemus's brows creep up rather a bit higher. "You. Know is from experience?"
"No, I went asking around the taverns in the Mire," Kittridge retorts, "Yes, I know this from experience."
"Well done, then," Nic says leaning back against the chair. "Do you trust her to become part of our family, rather than just… using what she can of us to further her own?"
"I think so?" Kittridge says, sipping his ale and considering, "I mean… I think she's loyal to her family. But I think she would come to be loyal to ours. I mean, she's not so loyal to hers that she didn't start secretly sleeping with me, so." He scratches his jaw, and says, "I'm pretty sure she has feelings for me."
"I expect so, if she's secretly sleeping with you. Unless that's just a thing she does, being so long unwed," Nicodemus supposes, scratching lightly at his jaw. "Then I suppose, if she's fond of you and you're fond of her and it would suit both our families… you should do it?"
"No, I'm pretty sure it's not a thing she does," Kittridge says, "Unless she's just really good at pretending to be a virgin, which I guess is possible, but I don't see why she'd bother, since she hasn't tried to use it to make me do anything." He scrubs at his face and runs a hand through his hair, fingers catching at the back of his neck. "I mean… I guess?" he replies, "I'm probably not going to find someone I like better who also suits our interests. And it'd be good to get Rosie and Rutger off the table as an option. I just… I don't know. I thought I had a few more years before I had to think about this."
"Well, what did you think would change, between then and now?" Nicodemus asks. "I mean, what should you want to do, that you haven't, before you marry?"
"I don't know," Kit shrugs, admitting, "I can't think of anything in particular, I just… figured I had more time." He sits outside his tent, half-lit by the candles within, looking up at Nicodemus from his seat in a low camp chair, nursing some ale and talking to his twin.
It is difficult to sneak through a camp, even with the turn of darkness and the given help of her lady's maid's cloak. Roslyn manages it once again, her attention focused on such discretion that she notices naught for a moment that the target of her sneakiness is seated outside his own tent, occupied with another. She is too close when she notices, stiffening and stopping still as if that would prevent her from being seen.
"Well, then maybe you should, uh…" And then, speak of the Stranger. Nicodemus clears his throat and offers the suddenly-appeared-and-gone-deer-still Roslyn a nod. "Well, um. I suppose I should turn in. Long day and everything."
"Maybe I should what?" Kittridge asks, before he too notices Roslyn. He motions her over with a jerk of his head, saying, "It's alright. He won't tell anyone. I believe you two have already met."
Roslyn's fingers raise to straighten the hood around her face as she finally draws near, not at all to lower it. She smiles self-consciously at Nicodemus, flushed with embarassment as she glances from one brother to the other even as she teases, "Ser Benedict, correct?"
"Nicodemus," the Groves corrects, "actually. Hello, my-…" a quick glance around the campsite before he amends, "mistress. Fine evening."
"She was kidding," Kittridge informs his brother dryly, "Way to roz it." He levers himself up out of the chair, and says, "Anyway. Good night, Nico." It's almost… friendly. Or something.
"I do not think," Nicodemus points out with a small smirk, "in this case, I am the one 'rozing' it," even if that does somewhat change the meaning of just what 'rozing' is. He eases to his feet with a stretch. "Good night, Kitt. Mistress."
"Lord Nicodemus," Roslyn replies carefully, tipping her chin in a gesture to the Groves' twin though a laugh slips past at Kittridge's words. Apparently she's heard the story of roz before. She adds as well, "Good night, my lord."
"Nic. Don't ever make our sister's name a euphemism. Even the verb version we made up that she hates. That's disgusting and I don't want to think about it. Ahhg. Obviously I am 'lyning'." Kittridge gives him a shove on his way, and then turns back to motion Roslyn into the tent before him.
And off he goes, to leave them to their <insert desired euphemism here>.
"I'd rather my name not be made into a euphemism for sex either," Roslyn chides of Kittridge lowly, though she ducks within the tent quickly enough lest other people see her next.
"But it sounds like 'winning'," Kittridge points out to Roslyn. This makes it better, right? He might be a little drunk. He follows her into the tent, and closes it behind them, fastening the flaps shut. "Drink?" he offers, as he always does.
Roslyn's answer is only to steal a kiss once the tent is fastened shut, her fingers lifting to catch at the man's shoulder as she leans into the breath of distance between them. "No, thank you," she replies against his lips, a curved smile lingering on her own.
He tastes of ale, and more ale, and maybe a bit of liquor as well. Kittridge doesn't let go of his mug as Roslyn turns to him, but he does wrap an arm around her and manage not to slosh ale on her cloak in the process. "Suit yourself," he says, smiling briefly before he kisses her again.
There is a certain giddy happiness to the way Roslyn's mouth meet his, nothing rushed nor needy about the kiss as she savors it. Drawing closer as his arm slips around her, her own fingers slide against his neck in a soft caress only to bury in his hair.
Kittridge doesn't kiss her any differently from usual - he seems vaguely tired, and he tastes like ale instead of the usual wine, but that's about it as far as changes go. His forearm rests against the small of her back, and he tilts his head to kiss her more deeply. Her fingers in his hair might spot a slight lump at the side of his head, no doubt one of the many still-healing knocks he took at the melee. His free hand has two fingers bound and splinted and purple, and they rest lightly on her ribs, out of sight.
"Kit, I love you," Roslyn exhales as a whisper, a quiet depth of warmth to the words even as she presses a light kiss to his jaw. She makes no move to draw back to see his reaction at the words, her lashes swept softly against her cheeks in fact where her eyes close and she leans into his heat.
Kittridge …doesn't say anything. Maybe he didn't hear her? Except that he pauses for a moment, stills just for a second after it's said. For a beat he leans his forehead against her temple, and then he turns his head and kisses her again, deeper than before.
A sigh escapes in that moment before the kiss deepens, barely formed and dying on her lips as Roslyn throws herself back into that kiss. Her fingers slide carefully through hair, pushing onto the tips of her toes to press herself against Kittridge and leave not a breath between them.
Kittridge continues to resist the urge to flee the tent, aided by her obvious intent to have sex with him if he stays. The arm around her back helps hold her close and steady her on her toes. He's content to stay that way for a few minutes at least, before he lifts her an inch or two higher, so feet cease to quite touch the ground, and walks the few paces to his bed, where he sets her down and draws back with a grimace. IT IS BECAUSE HIS RIBS ARE BRUISED DON'T FREAK OUT.
OMG HE IS TOTALLY GRIMACING BECAUSE SHE SAID I LOVE YOU. Roslyn shifts up onto her elbows at that grimace, a question held in her expression before it is voiced quietly in a rasped whisper full of supressed emotion, "Are you alright?"
Kittridge nods. "It's fine," he says, "I just… stretched something that didn't want to be." He rubs at his side, holding his arm around himself for a second before stiffly tugging his shirt off. The bruises that were bright red and rising after the melee two days ago are blue and purple today, scattered across arms, chest, and abdomen, especially around his ribs. He is probably not making up being sore, though none of them look particularly serious. He toes off his boots as well, before he joins her.
Shifting to rid herself of her cloak, carelessly, Roslyn's fingers trace the pattern of bruises with a light skim of nails as she curls closer to him on the cot. She brushes her lips against another bruise on his bare arm, a silly, girlish gesture. "It seems my favor has not stood you well at all, this tourney," she murmurs.
He eases down over her, smiling as she kisses a bruise. "All better," Kittridge jokes, before shaking his head, "I didn't do so badly in the team melee, actually. I mean, Ser Kell won it for us, but I lasted a while, longer than I'd thought I might. These'll be gone soon enough."
"I saw. I was watching the melee for every moment that you were on the field," Roslyn admits quietly, though the words do not come with the expected smile but rather the touch of a frown at the corners of her mouth. Her lips trailing to his shoulder, she sets another kiss against the bruise there as well. Suddenly, she does smile, a wry thing as she suggests, "I would not want you to strain yourself tonight. Perhaps I should be on top."
Kittridge lifts a brow at that frown, asking, "Was my performance that embarrassing?" He smiles crookedly, and then laughs at the suggestion, shaking his head. "You make it sounds like I'm old or an invalid. But I'm sure it's just that you'd rather be and are trying to ask politely, so of course," he says, very graciously. He nudges her over to make room for him to lie down.
That nudge is enough to have Roslyn shift to the edge of the cot, drawing to her feet entirely as she makes room for him to lie down. Her fingers find her stays, however, taking advantage of the moment to quickly loosen her dress and slip it from her shoulders, leaving her only in the shift she wears underneath. "No, of course not," she assures him lightly, shaking her head dismissively. "If I were truly treating you as an invalid, I would offer to use—my mouth." Yes, there is a slight hitch on saying the actual words, a light flush, but for all that she still draws back to the cot to join him.
"On second thought, I'm in terrible pain and probably can't move anymore," Kittridge replies immediately. He smiles widely, and then lifts a hand for hers as Roslyn rejoins him, tugging her closer for a kiss. "Why did you frown when you said you'd watched me the whole melee?" he asks against her lips.
"It would be a waste if you could never move again," Roslyn answers, laughing lowly at that smile and response for all that she seems pleased by it. She is careful of his bruises where she presses against him, her legs braced against either hip as she leans into that kiss. "Only that I am afraid I was not very discreet in my affection."
"Anymore tonight," Kittridge amends, "Better?" He tips his head toward her as she leans down, and reaches up to encourage her shift to fall off at least one shoulder, preferably both if the neck will allow. A brow lifts at her explanation, and between kisses, he asks, "How so?"
That shift slides down easily, donned for that ease rather than any utility given the point of her visit. Roslyn's head turns slightly, a smile catching at her lips as her gaze falls to her bare shoulder before lifting back to Kittridge. "Better," she replies wryly. "Though, perhaps no one noticed. Only, I usually care naught for the melee, and everytime you took a hit, I could not help but—." She cuts off her rambling with a distinctly dismissive shake of her head as her own fingers find the ties of his trousers.
Kit trails fingers across that expanse of shoulder, sweeping her hair back out of the way and leaning up to drag lips across the skin it bares. "Swoon?" he teases, ending the sentence for her.
"Yes, I swooned every time you were hit. Hopefully no one noticed that," Roslyn answers with a laugh, drawing in to that touch of lips to skin even as she tugs at the fastening of his pants. She has grown accustomed enough to them in so little time.
"Who would notice a little fainting, here and there every other minute?" Kittridge grins, "I think that's about how often I got hit. I'm not very good at melees," he admits, "But the team thing sounded kind of fun." He plays with the neckline of her shift as she unfastens pants. They're not very complicated. Fingers catch and tug the neck down and he pulls, drawing her to lean close enough for him to prop up on one elbow and kiss the top of a breast. "I'm sure no one noticed," he says, "We were all getting hit, they couldn't have told which of us you were swooning over anyway."
Distracted from her own goals by Kittridge's demands, Roslyn takes another moment before she replies lightly, "Then if anyone should ask, I shall tell them I swooned over Ser Jac. Or perhaps Ser Kell would be more believable, if I showed excitement at your win. He is a handsome man." Her fingers slide along his pants again, curling against the band of the trousers. "Or perhaps it won't matter what anyone may notice, if we are betrothed."
Kittridge laughs. "Is he? I'm not sure I've ever really see Ser Kell without a helm." He tugs her shift down further before letting it go. "I guess that will do as an excuse, then." He looks down to watch her hands, muscles shifting as he lifts his hips so she can tug his trousers down. (That's the plan, right?) "True, I guess maybe it won't, if we are," he says, nodding slowly.
Surely that is part of the plan, and Roslyn does take advantage of that lift to slide the trousers down with a quick smile. She shifts as well drawing back from Kittridge's easy reach as she confirms, "He is." Her gaze traces back up to the knight with a study made of him briefly, a smile touching the corners of her lips before she attempts her promise of before without pursuing betrothal conversations further.