|What's Been Told|
|Summary:||Roslyn and Riordan talk following the festivities.|
|Related Logs:||Strong Enough, The Last Dance|
|There is a cot and other stuff. In a tent.|
|Fri May 25, 289|
It's late, and though the dancing for the nobles has since wound down, there are still those who gathered for the dance among the commoners who continue to dance, and laugh, and play. Sounds of laughter, and other… merry sounds are likely spread throughout the entirety of the camps. It is, after all, a night of last chances. Riordan, for his part, comes from the direction of the commoner's dance, looking slightly the worse for wear. His split lip, since healed but rather swollen looking, is his badge from the noble's dance. The unbuttoned doublet he wears, exposing his undershirt and a small ammount of chest is likely from the dance of commons, very likely. Either that, or he was mugged. He moves through the Nayland tents, without a guard or other escort, stopping once outside Roslyn's. "Sister, are you within?" he calls softly. If she is not, he plans on sitting down outside the tent, and waiting.
Roslyn did not overstay the Frey's hospitality, leaving at a proper time for a woman of her age and station. She has since had her handmaiden brush out curls, her gown exchanged for one made for sleeping, though she is not yet truly asleep. Instead, she sits on the cot that makes up her bed for the last night, a book settled in her lap that she reads intently. Her maid has long since gone to sleep, wrapped in a blanket in the corner of the tent. She answers, "Yes. I am here."
Riordan will enter the tent, knowing that she would have said something were she indecent, and smiles to see his sister there, settled in for the night. He glances only briefly to the sleeping form of the maid, as he pulls up a chair for himself to sit near his sister, and when he speaks, it is pitched low so as not to carry too far or wake the sleeping girl. "I trust you were able to escape our eviction?" he asks, raising an eyebrow with a small, bitter smile. Clearly, he's still a bit annoyed at what happened. "And you can say it, if you like." Because she did warn him.
"I told you," Roslyn murmurs first, finishing the last of her sentence carefully before tucking a bit of frayed ribbon between the pages. Hazel eyes lift to Riordan, and a small smile is almost teasing where it plays on her lips for a moment. Then it is gone, given way to the seriousness of the situation. "I did. The Freys did not seem inclined to kick out every member of our family, but this will hurts us, Riordan. Imagine when Lord Terrick hears of it, as he must."
Riordan smirks lightly, good naturedly, at his sister, before letting out a sigh at the more serious comment. "Yes, I know. And after my championing the Freys and Rutger winning the melee… this rather mutes the victories we otherwise earned here. I doubt terribly that father will be much amused either. Though who knows, perhaps the novelty of Rowenna beating up Rafferdy will temper his ire somewhat." Still, Riordan is clearly not looking forward to that conversation. "How did the rest of the evening go?"
Her brow lifting slightly, Roslyn questions lightly, "Does it matter how the rest went, Riordan? After that?" She shakes her head, a sigh escaping her lips as her hazel eyes study her brother for a moment. "You should not have told him, until it had been handled."
"Enough, Rosie. It's done and over with," Riordan says, softly but firmly. "I can't change what I did. I can't very well have predicted that this would have happened, or else I would have acted different. What are the odds that the first time Rafferdy showed his face to any of us was at a gathering for nobles?" Given Rafferdy's penchant for commoners, and his equal distain for all things noble, it is rather unlikely. "Regardless, there is no further use of recriminating me, as I have likely already said worse to myself." He raises a hand, scrubbing at his face. "And yes, the rest of the evening does matter. I would know how the rest of the evening went, if not for our family, then for the sister who matters the most to me. Did you have fun, at least in some small part?"
"There is use, given what you said to me when I even suggested you did wrong in telling them," Roslyn points out in turn, her own stubbornness displayed for a moment with the lift of her brow before she seems to give way with a softening and a shrug. "I performed as I should have. I danced with Lord Justin, and left when appropriate."
Riordan gives Roslyn a pointed look, but it holds little heat or force. He remains quiet for a moment, and when he speaks, it is in response to her last words. "I expected no less, sister. But that is not what I asked," he points out, softly.
"It was fine, Riordan. Just—. It was not the worst night I have ever had, nor the best. It was fine," is all of the answer that Roslyn seems to have for him, dismissive as she shakes her head again. "And where did you find yourself, after you were shown out?"
"I wandered, for a time," Riordan says, giving his shoulder a shrug. "Needed to clear my head. Then my guard and I joined in the festivities of the commons. I will say this - smallfolk lasses dont much care how good or bad a dancer a man is." He quirks an idle smile, before saying, far too off-handidly, "Anais showed up too. We danced a few times."
"Oh?" Roslyn questions of that added statement, her gaze drawing on Riordan and impassively watching him.
"We are both, her and I, stronger then you give us credit, Rosie," Riordan says, letting out a small sigh. "If perhaps not as strong as I thought. But for all that, you need not worry. We both know nothing can come of it, and neither of us wish to hurt our families or this alliance we're building. You don't need to fear on that account." He shakes his head, and reaches out to his sister. "I don't need to be judged right now. I just need my sister."
"Not as strong as you thought?" Roslyn catches that statement and presses at it, her brow curving upwards at the phrasing. She is not quite ready to not judge, especially where she adds, "And what did you say to me when I returned from a few stolen moments, Rorie?" A pause, before she is shaking her head. "I trust you, and I only think you need to be discreet. Dancing at the common feast is not discreet."
"It is not as if we kissed," Riordan says, pointedly. "We danced, we touched, I kissed her hand. And then we parted." He withdraws his hand when she does not take it, his jaw firming, and he moves to rise, biting off any further words with a sigh and a sharp shake of his head.
"I am glad, Riordan," Roslyn says quietly, her gaze trailing after him as she brushes her fingers over the leather of her book carefully. "Anything can come of it, as long as you are discreet." The words are repetitive, but they are well-intentioned and softly apologetic. "And I never thought you'd do anything to harm this alliance. Only that it made you too attatched to it, perhaps."
"And what if I got her with child, Roslyn? No. It can't be risked. Not now. No matter how discreet we could be." Riordan shakes his head, more firmly, looking at his sister. "Rosie, this alliance isn't about me or Anais. This is about our family becoming more then it is, holding what we have and being able to reach for more. We can not do that with enemies at all sides, nor without the good will of those in power. You say you agree with me and you trust me, and yet you keep questioning my motives." He studies her, finally asking, "Well, which is it?"
"No, Rorie, I do not question your motives. You mistake my words for more than what they are," Roslyn corrects gently, shaking her head. "I believe this alliance would do us well, as you say. I believe that a marriage to Lord Justin would be a good match."
"Then what?" Riordan asks, simply, searching his sister's face. He falls silent, waiting for her answer, waiting for… something. Despite everything, he seems a coiled ball of energy, obviously dealing with the frustrations of both this evenings events.
"Only that we are in the position of power this time, and that we should make our stance as such. They need us, we do not need them. We should not allow Lord Terrick to dictate as many terms as he'd like, without risking us walking away," she explains carefully, Roslyn's tone soft and apologetic to avoid rousing her brother's ire liekly.
"Yes, I rather caught that point when we spoke to father," Riordan says, still slightly annoyed, though likely not so much with his sister as just in general. "Seven, everyone acts as if I readily accepted everything he said to me as if it were writ in the Seven Pointed Star. I took his words to father, as was my duty. And when father decides, I will take them back to Terrick, and we will continue to hammer out the details." Riordan pauses long enough to let out a frustrated grunt. "Do you know, noone has congratulated me on the miracle I managed to pull off. I got Terrick to agree to continue discussions and not throw the proposal away out of hand, as everyone predicted. But no. All I hear is how I could have done better. Frankly, Roslyn, it is grating. I never asked for my position in Stonebridge, or to be launched into politics. But I did as I was bid."
A smile touching at the corners of her lips, Roslyn says softly, "I never did, because I knew you would, Rorie. As I told you before you met with him, if anyone could get him to agree, it would have been you." She pauses, thoughtful where her gaze drops to the book in her lap for a moment. "You are the one who has chosen to pursue the alliance without being bid. It was a well-played move, but you cannot expect father to have been pleased with it, even if you managed to somehow get Lord Terrick to agree to marry his daughter to Rickart himself."
Riordan lets out a breath, accepting Roslyn's first words with a nod of acceptance. "The alliance was part of my duty, sister. My duty isn't just to run Stonebridge, it is to hold it for our family. And I can't very well do that with the point of my lance, as much as I would wish. So I have tried to find other ways. And it isn't father that concerns me - I always knew he would agree, once he saw the benefits. I am still sure he will. It's the rest of them." He waves his hand, to include the general world at large. "I just… I feel beset on all sides at all times, sister. It is an exhausting feeling. One I already had in spades even before I tried doing the supposed impossible."
"You are taking on too much, then, if you feel so beset. Take some time before persuing this more. Or, seek out the Erenfords. They are just as important, but they will not be as exhausting in negotiations," Roslyn suggests quietly.
"Yes, well… perhaps some time at the Mire will do us both some good. I'll have to return to Stonebridge soon enough… but a few days of relaxation might be nice." Riordan does not address the fact that Anais will be joining them, mostly because he doesnt actually pause to consider that right now. Though by now it is likely common knowledge that she plans on visiting.
Roslyn does not address it either, leaving it be and only agreeing, "It will. However long we will have there until father gives marching orders, it will do some good. And your nameday tomorrow, we can celebrate it at home."
"I had rather hoped you had forgotten that," Riordan says, though likely he is not serious. He always enjoys a good party. He moves towards Roslyn, then, leaning over to stroke his sister's cheek and place a kiss on her head. "I am sorry if I take out my frustrations on you, sister. I know that you love and support me. And I thank the Seven for it every day."
"I do, always. Anything I say is for your good, not against you," Roslyn replies simply, patting her hand against Riordan's where it rests against her cheek.
Riordan simply nods, withdrawing his hand after a moment. "I know," he agrees, before bidding her, "Get some sleep. I will see you in the morning." He manages a soft and genuine smile, for all his eyes still hold the worries and concerns weighted upon him, and then he will turn to leave the tent, and find his own.
"You get some sleep as well, Riordan. You can use it more." But then he is gone and Roslyn has turned back to her book. Likely, she will get sleep soon, but first she will finish this chapter.