|While The Tea Goes Cold|
|Summary:||Jacsen informs his sister of the latest development regarding Jaremy.|
|Related Logs:||May The Warrior Guide Me, Lord Jerold's Lament, Gone Knight, Cold Northeastern Trail|
|Reading Room, Four Eagles Tower|
|Books, chairs, table, tea, handmaiden.|
|25 September, 288|
The morning after the night before dawns as any other, the moon and the sun unaware of the troubles they shine down upon. Still before the heat of the day, the lady Lucienne sits in the reading room by the window, a tray of some sweet-smelling infusion providing a picturesque display in it's clear glass teapot; a couple little green flowers slowly unfurl as they soak up the heated water within, dispersing their colour and flavour through the liquid. For her part, the lady simply sits and watches as the tea brews, her mouth crooked in a tentative smile for the simple pleasure.
He does not look like he's slept altogether that much through last night, though he's washed himself up sometime between that fitful sleep and now. Jacsen leans heavily on his cane as he steps into the reading room, and makes a silent - save for his cane - beeline towards Lucienne, making to join her.
Of course she can hear his approach, but Lucienne chooses to continue watching her dragon pearls bloom, for the spectacle will be finished soon enough. Lest it look as though she'd decline his company, she reaches over with one of her feet to toe at a chair nearby.
Jacsen doesn't seem particularly worried about that, and slumps into the seat, waiting upon his sister to finish the matter with her tea.
It's only a few more moments of silence before all those little leaves are open, and Lucienne leans forward in her seat to stir the pot with a long glass rod. "Morning," she greets, doing her best to keep that hint of a smile upon her lips. "How did you sleep?"
"I've slept better," Jacsen admits, letting out a faint breath. He puts his hand to his forehead, resting his elbow on the arm of the chair. "Father has sent Jarod and his men back out into the field. They will go to Stonebridge, it seems. Maybe even further, to the Mire." He looks at his sister's tea a moment, and then back to her. "Did you get much sleep?"
Lucienne nods as she's informed about the riders, letting go of a deep sigh as she continues to stir her tea gently. "No," is her honest reply, given after a moment and she's set the rod aside. "Tea?"
Jacsen nods once, and spares his sister a grateful look. "That would be wise, yes," he concurs, before adding, "There is more, if you're ready to hear of it."
She smiles just a little wider, still only a half-hearted gesture, as Jacsen nods. Lucienne sets about pouring the tea, the liquid still swirling in the pot and spilling out a little erratically. It's not helped by the fact that her hands start to shake ever so slightly, but she draws in a deep breath to steel herself and says… "Tell me."
He leans forward to take hold of her hands when they begin to shake, if she will let him. "Enne…" Jacsen murmurs gently, frowning for the sake of his sister. "Father is determined to find Jaremy, and bring him back home. But, it will not… not be as it was."
Lucienne looks up from the tea at the touch of her brother's hands upon hers, her smile long gone. There's something of a sadness in her eyes, and for a long moment all she can do is to clench her teeth and swallow hard. Her eyes close, and she simply nods.
"Father has disinherited Jaremy, Lucienne. He is to be known as Jaremy Middleton, our mother's name, for father has sworn that until Jaremy has made proper amends, he is no son of Jerold Terrick," Jacsen shares, his tone very grave and hesitant at first, but stronger at the end. "I don't know how serious he is, I've never seen him so wroth, but he truly had no choice. If Jaremy goes to the Mire and causes trouble with the Naylands, it could well start a war between our Houses."
"Stop," she interrupts, something about that tone cutting into her and forcing Lucienne's eyes open again. "I understand. Please." Her lower lip is already swollen a little from biting down on it so often the last day, but it doesn't stop her from doing so again as she looks at Jacsen, her eyes starting to shine.
If she'll let him, Jacsen seems to wish nothing more than to put his arms around his little sister, and hold her close. "I'm sorry, Enne," he tells her, softly, though if it is for the whole situation, or not stopping sooner, is unclear.
Lucienne tilts her head helplessly, swallowing a sob before it can bubble up from her throat. Her shoulders shake, just the once, and she shifts forward in her chair, desperate for a hug. Her lashes flutter rapidly, trying to keep her tears from falling, the tea all but forgotten.
He holds her close then, arms strong and warm around her slender frame, his own eyes turned outward. "We'll make this okay," is all Jacsen sees fit to murmur, a gentle reassurance for his dear Enne whom seems on the verge of sobbing. He'll hold her as long as she needs, surely needing some of it himself.
Burying her face into the hollow under her brother's collarbone, Lucienne begins to cry. The sobs are voiced only softly, but the uncontrollable trembles that accompany each are violent. Her tears flood forth, dampening Jacsen's shirt, and it must seem like an eternity as they sit by the window and the sun continues to climb, whilst the tea grows cold, that Lucienne simply cries in his arms.
He doesn't complain for that, neither the length, the dampness of his shirt, or how surely the tea goes cold as they sit there together. No, Jacsen is quiet, but warm, tender and all too willing to be the rock upon which Lucienne's understandable grief chooses to crash.
And when finally her tears seem to run out, Lucienne shifts her head slightly to press her cheek against that sogginess she's caused. Her sobs thin out, replaced every so often by a sniffle, her chest and shoulders still jolting with each. Her lips sketch out an apology, but there's not even the whisper of a sound to it, and her hands - having found purchase somewhere at Jacsen's sides - claw into his clothes.
Jacsen turns his head enough to press a kiss into his sister's hair, and lets out a gentle breath. "I know, Enne," he murmurs to her, though it's not quite clear what it is that he knows, "I'm sorry." His whole frame heaves with one sigh, but his arms remain secure about his sister, his head resting against hers.
Lucienne forces herself to take a few deep breaths, trying to still the involuntary shaking of her shoulders that continues every few moments. She sniffles again, and nods with her cheek still pressed firmly against Jacsen; she can't seem to find any words, but can at least acknowledge his.
"Shhh," Jacsen murmurs gently after a few moments more, feeling rather helpless with his sister so in his arms, eyes tearing and shoulders shaking, even as the sobs subside. "We'll make it through this, all of us. Jaremy included."
One more tremor wracks her before Lucienne manages to, with a long breath meant to expel the last of her sadness, stop shaking. She peels her cheek gently from her brother that she might look up at him, her eyes still a little glisteny but wide and unblinking. She nods again, and whispers, "We will," trying to convince herself.
Jacsen presses a small kiss to her brow. "I know we shall, Enne. We must, too much and too many count upon us all to do anything less," he says with quiet confidence, his usual assuredness somewhat shaken, but still visible beneath his own hurt and uncertainty about Jaremy's fate. "We are Terricks, and we must."
"We'll be," Lucienne stops to clear her throat, aiming to bolster her whisper to a murmur as she repeats, "We'll be fine, we will. You're right." Her big, shiny brown eyes lift, seeking to search in Jacsen's blue ones as she tells him with no small amount of affection, and the ghost of her smile, "You're always right."
He kisses her brow once more. "Of course I am," Jacsen agrees with her, summoning a small smile for the sake of his dear and much loved sister, taking the sides of her face into his hands. "We need just wait, you and I, while Jarod does his work. And all will be well."
Lucienne's smile becomes a little more solid as Jacsen holds her cheeks so, though it's still just a little thing playing upon her lips. "I hate waiting," is what she says, blinking a few times and sighing softly. "But I trust you. I trust you both."
"Then let us do something while we wait. How about that tea you were so intent upon?" Jacsen suggests, smiling warmer for the sake of his sister's encouragement. "Let's send for some more, and a little something to break our fast. I think it might do us both good."
"More tea," agrees Lucienne with a decisive nod, shifting back into her chair to recline. Bless dear Hattie, who's already making for the door to fetch the refreshments without being directly bid; there's something to be said for a handmaiden who's eager to make amends for her slip in judgement.