Page 173: Wine and Vinegar
Wine and Vinegar
Summary: Aleister, Cherise and Danae catch up. Riordan and Isolde come bearing gifts. And promises are not given.
Date: 7/01/2012
Related Logs: Ironborn invade logs. Do Me the Honor
Aleister Cherise Danae Riordan Isolde 
Outskirts — Stonebridge
The trails are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and full of wildflowers amidst the lightly scattered trees of the central Cape of Eagles. A few packed dirt trails converge with the main road from outlying hamlets around Stonebridge.
Fri Jan 06, 289

This is missing the initial set, if Cherise or Aleister would be lovely and fill it in.

There's the hint of a smirk that crosses Aleister's lips as the amusement drains from Cherise's features and when her hand comes to be offered, his own is lifting to accept it, "Good." Then, his own eyes are shifting in the direction of hers, playing over the banners and what not before he's looking back over in her direction, "Such sarcasm, my dear." Both Aleister and Cherise are standing near a recently arrived carriage, one that has five Charlton men dismounting from horses that were no doubt accompanying it. There's a look to the men and a simple, curt nod of his head, "See to the carriage and have the Lady Cherise's possession stored in the pavilion." Then, he's looking back to Cherise, "You'll find our pavilion to at least be comforting."

The comforts of the pavilion would receive another inspection in a measurement of her standards. With her hand in his, Cherise gave Aleister a subtle nod while a hand idly brushed over the loose curls upon her shoulder, seeing their display was appropriate. "It is not sarcasm." She replies while smirking, "All these houses gathered here for undoubtedly the same purpose. I do enjoy a good show of bravado." Pale blue eyes stare pointedly at the displayed banner of house Haigh. "Wonderful.. have you been making friends darling?"

The Charlton banners, trailing in the wind, act as a polestar for the small lady of the Westerling house. Yesterday's inquiries proving unsuccessful, today she walks through the bustle of the militia's training grounds with a determined step and a look of anticipation. Danae looks every inch the lady in her pale blue gown, stones of her necklace glinting in the light and blonde hair woven into a delicate shape, and her guard at her side. She tips her head in a slight nod, cool as one of the Charlton men regards her with curiosity, inching her way up to pair talking by the carriage. "Hopefully my goodcousin has not been making enemies, he's already liable to meet many of those of the field," she suggests warmly, voice resonant over the bustle. A smile is ready on her lips. "Hello cousin. I had not expected you here as well."

The men at arms move to take care of the carriage, horses and belongs and as they depart, Aleister is casting a look back in their direction before returning his attention to Cherise. The smirk remains light upon his lips as he gives a slight nod of his head, "Aye. Singular purpose brought the Houses together for this show and unfortunately, we march at dawn to tend to the task before us." His free hand moves to come to rest at the point where his sword rests at his waist. Before he has a chance to make mention of friends, Danae's arrival draws his attention, his brown eyes shifting to settle upon her as a low chuckle escapes past parted lips. "I make neither enemies or friends at this particular point." Then, a bow of his head is given, "My Lady. It is good to see you."

The realization she would have so little time in his company while here, something she had somewhat expected caused her features to darken with displeasure. Before she could retort her mein was broken by the sound of a familiar voice, Cherise' head turns curiously in that direction and in that instant those shadows were cast aside. "Danae!" No need to be so formal as her hand pulled away from Aleister, advancing now for the Westerling cousin with both hands outstretched. "I had hoped you would still be here, I was told you have settled in this place. Come come, let me see what the Riverlands have done to you." She looks over her shoulder to Aleister briefly, "We are to make friends darling, who knows how long we'll be sequestered here." She reminds him, the smile no doubt because she has a friendly face to engage with.

Danae looks up at Aleister, eyes still as a blue as the Western seas and bright with warmth at the sight of her relations. "My Lord. That is a sentiment that is most /wholly/ shared," she says. A note of delighted laughter breaks the air as Cherie moves towards her with outstretched arms, mirroring the motion to pull her cousin into a brief hug, before breaking it to clasp her hands. "Settled for a time, yes. It is well that my business was not finished sooner for my own shape. Hopefully it has not rendered me too indifferent to your memory," she says, glancing from one to the other. "I know not of your doings, but I would be happy to make introductions as I can."

There was no effort to conceal the survey of Danae's demeanor. From hair, to eyes then powders, jewelry and attire. All of the above inspected as her cousin spoke, warm hands clasped within the other and given a gentle squeeze. "Not so much I will say. Then it is fortunate for me that your business matters have prolonged your presence here." A thin form of pale pink lips smirk, "In time I'll meet those here." She broke the clasp of their hands briefly to dismiss the offer for now. When Cherise steps closer one arm links its self with Danae's near possessively. "I am beyond relief to step outside of Hollyhort cousin, especially to have family here. So tell me about this place." A grand gesture makes an indication to the whole of Stonebridge. "We hear so little about it. It must not be too important."

There is an ease to Danae's posture that did not exist before, confidence carried in her own gentle manner that does not recede even with darker circles beneath her eyes. Her hair has been pinned back in a western style, but her skin is freckled with many hours spent in the sunlight in a way that her pale cousin may have chided her for in their youth, no discernible powders were used to add to the healthy rose of her cheeks. "Indeed, then is has been fortunate for us both." Fingers linked tightly, she smiles as Cherise surveys and looks over her cousin as well, seeking those same changes. There is no difficulty in linking her arm with Danae's, graciously given with the chuff of a laugh. "It was a relief to have you there cousin. It is better to see the both of you now, especially since Lannisport and likely the Crag were hit with an attack of their own." Cherise's arm is given a light squeeze as she speaks, before gesturing towards the tower of Stonebridge. "More import than you'd think, cousin. It is quite the local center for trade into the Riverlands. The Lady and the Lord are very charming."

Danae had the misfortune of too much sun, whatever imperfections Cherise had found she hadn't vocalized them. Not yet. She had enough sensibility to mind her tongue in some instances. Soft fingers interlinked with Danae's, her skin given those daily treatments to maintain a paled and milky pallor for only the servants and men had sun kissed flesh. With news of Lannisport and the Crag, Cherise's pale eyes target Danae's in disbelief. "Attacked? Do you know if they sustained any losses?" In another thought she continued, "Are they? Rumors say otherwise." Expressions on her face changed at the drop of a rock depending on the topic. One moment she displayed concern and then amusement when it came to the topic of the Naylands. Cherise would initiate their movement, away from the carriage and towards the pavilion, more specifically the one marked by the banners of House Charlton. Behind her, ever dutiful as her own shadow were the hand maidens and the guardsmen.

"That is the disadvantage of distance in a siege, cousin. I know little more than I have heard through others, your Lord is in a better position that I to learn more," Danae answers with a slow shake of her head, gaze flickering towards Aleister significantly. "I know the golden fleet is hindered and is not likely to sail to our aid here in the Riverlands." Little more than that. She pats her cousin's delicate hand with as low smile, blonde lashes half-covering the blue beneath as she follows the movement towards the pavilion. "Rumors are only half true. I have not had cause to meet the Elder Lord, but the Lord and Lady Nayland yet of Stonebridge are such."

She too had cast her eyes in Aleister's direction, a mental notation to inquire about details learned thus far since his arrival. Their movement was unhurried, a languid stroll across the flattened lands, blades of summer grass crushed beneath the wooden flats of her slippers. While Cherise's head may have been held at a slight bow it still awarded her a clear perception of their path ahead. "Impossible, the golden fleet is unmatched by any throughout all the known world." Needless boasting that was perhaps unfounded. "Isra is it? Ignas… Isoole." The half attempted efforts to recall the names of the lords presiding here. "And the Lord's name escapes me." There was even the display of a finger touching the lips in the search of her thoughts for their names.

In contrast, Danae holds her head high and observes the goings-on around them through the bright fringe of blonde lashes. The bannerman and the actions of the camp do not escape her notice, even has her single guard trails behind. "A thing is only unmatched because it has not yet met it, even excellence can be taken by surprise," she returns, gentle more than chiding. "It is Ryker and Isolde Nayland, nee Tordane." There is a wry quirk to her lips, however fond as Cherise presses a finger to her lips.

Once reaching the tent, a pair of guards posted at the entrance bow their head in acknowledgment to the arriving ladies as one pulls aside the curtained drapery. In crossing the threshold Cherise continues, "Ah Isolde and Ryker." Repeated, pressed into her memory as the two moved on. "Stonebridge that is in the Tordane's hold correct? I heard of some quarrel between the families here." She returns a bit low, coiling towards Danae in the guise of rumor mongering. When they would enter the pavilion it has all the luxuries a campsite could allow for entertaining in the common area: a table for dining with chairs on all four sides, a pair of sofas facing one another with plush cushions and green fabric, the embroidered design is made of a darker fabric, concluded with lamps for the evening hours.

"Indeed. There seems to be some interest in the legitimacy of the claim," Danae offers softly, explaining as best as she knows it, "As well as the everlasting quarrel, it seems between the Naylands and the Terricks." Her words are soft, little more than her cousin might discover with inquiry. The pavilion earns an interested eye from the Westerling lady, smile tipping towards amusement. "Appointed to your taste, cousin?" She wonders, gesturing towards the tent.

Once within a relieved exhale escapes her lips, carefully unlatching herself from Danae to fully explore the expanse of the pavilion. Lavish rugs of rich tones line the floor, softening the ground beneath their steps. The four handmaidens enter, one of them, a middle-aged woman dutifully approaches Cherise in removing the forest green cloak. "Naturally cousin." Her tone was light and airy as she stepped from the handmaiden while nearing the sofas. A hand indicated to the vacancy nearby, her own form sank quietly then shifted to sit an angle. "My husband has done well, for by now he should know me best." Gently smiling she looks to one of her handmaidens. "Something to drink and food. Wine.." A brief look to Danae, "You'll have wine won't you?" Not waiting for the answer those piercing pale blue eyes returned to the servant, her tone a few degrees lesser than how she speaks her cousin. "Wine and a third glass should my husband enter. Then something to settle my stomach." As if speaking with the maidservants was an annoyance, her eyes swept low in their return to Danae. "I suppose I could see the interest in this place, being the main trading source for all the Riverlands. Controlling the imports opens plenty of purses."

Danae turns back towards her guard, murmuring something lowly that makes him bow slightly and step back outside the pavilion. She turns back towards her cousin with a mild smile, hands folded at her waist as she moves to join her at the sofas. "It suits, as always. Your lord knows you quite well." Cherise has excellent taste. "Please," she accepts after the fact, amusement trickling into her tone as she settles on a sofa with a graceful sweep of her skirts. "Mhmm. The Crag is not without resources to offer or to negotiate for use of, even with father taken ill. It is mutually profitable a venture."

At the mention of Aleister's taste Cherise holds a fond smile, absently fingering over the gold metals of a recent trinket accenting her slender wrist. As the hand maidens shuffle off, two to prepare the requested accompaniments for a guest the lady lays one hand upon her lap as all attention focused upon Danae. "He is still unwell?" She inquires, seemingly genuine. "Mother had stated she would visit them soon, when the weather permitted it. I have not heard from them in months and with these attacks I suppose it will be longer." For now the two were awarded a medium of privacy, the hand servants standing in the background, quiet and ready to attend to their lady's new and impromptu command. "Do you still muck around in the dirt?"

Expression darkening slightly, Danae tips her head in a slight nod for Cherise's question and settles her hands in her lap. "He is. He has not been quite right since mother died, but alas his health has weathered these last months less well than had been expected. It will certainly be awhile before word might be let through," she agrees quietly, tucking a lock of hair back behind her ear. There is a moment of silence before she looks back up at her cousin with a slant to her brow. "Do you still think doing so makes me a fishwife?"

Cherise's eyes don't even stray as the maidservant returns with a tray presenting the wine, glasses and cheeses. They were set upon the low rise table before them, polished oak and accented with a white linen cloth embroidered with floral threads. "I am sure my mother will do what she can. She has the heart of the Septas." Cherise relayed coyly while extending a hand expectantly, moments later a glass of wine half filled occupied it. "Yes, yes it does." Answering bluntly she drew the glass to her lips for a taste of the red cordial. "You'll attract what you become." She points to the discoloration of her flesh briefly. "Remind me to have my maidens tend to your skin. There should be some grand purpose of my visit here." Though the words were honest they were an attempt to educate as if Cherise had gained an abundance of wisdom over how to be a proper noblewoman, at least in public. "Or do you not care for such things?"

"Your mother would have the heart of a Septa," Danae replies sweetly, extending her hand similarly to a her own glass. It is of course received, a gentle nod of thanks for the server. She regards her cousin with an amused glance, over the rim of her glass for a moment before taking a sip. "Then yes, cousin. I do care for plants as I always have." Her fingers are flexed outward, wrist rotating elegantly as she retracts them and extends them again. "I cannot see the sun for freckling, dear one. It has always been the same. I would be glad of any knowledge you've gained since your marriage."

Might have it locked away in a box somewhere, Cherise's features seem to imply as she takes another intended drink from the glass. As Danae shares she listens dutifully, interested in the provided answer given. "I have never needed to use the treatments personally…" She pauses for a soft shrug. "Some of the ladies around Hollyhort use all sorts of things. They bathe in milk, they pour honey on their face and wait for it to harden under the sun. Mostly on the cheeks for when it is peeled off it leaves it a this bright red glow about it. And the skin much softer. Then there are more extreme methods no one would dare admit to. Like to have large and bright eyes they put a few drops of deadly nightshade in their eyes. I heard another woman lets her maidservant slap her in the cheeks daily. Bathing in mud…" A sudden thought made her eyes light up, "Oh you would like that wouldn't you Danae?" She laughed sweetly, relaxing comfortably against the sofa. Again drinking from her glass.

A smirk quirks Danae's lips at the assessment of her cousin's mother. "Cousin, should you ever be so stupid as to dose with the lady Belladonna made by another hand, I should see your eyes burnt out myself," Danae says once Cherise has finished, sweet and sharp and to the point. Who would know better than she, the capabilities of the herb? Stern blue eyes watch Cherise over the rim of her glass, waiting to see that the point is made before taking a sip. "Only if you covered me with seeds and let them take. I would rather like to be an apple tree. Although, I should think it would be rather beyond the fashion of lands though." Brushing a lock of hair back, she pats at her hair as she speaks.

A well practiced laugh passes through her lips after Danae has made her threat. "Fear not Danae, I have no need to result to such theatrics for beauty." Cue her chin rising just a touch, "Besides I would know better and should I ever question a concoction or two I'll send my hand maidens to you straight away." Not herself as whatever would be relayed can be instructed to her servants. Continuing to listen her brows raised at the though of being a tree. "…an apple tree." Cherise shakes her head, dismissing the absurdity. "I should wish to be forever covered in stone in the town square. With blue gems for my eyes and gold outlining the hems of my attire." While describing her eyes had swept upwards, to the ceiling in the sharing of her desire. "Why in the name of Seven would you ever wish to be a tree. And an apple tree above all else."

"That is all that I might ask," Danae says with an airy sweep of her fingers. Her words might be somewhat flippant, but they are coloured with fond affection. Cherise is not meant to run errands, of course. A small trill of laughter joins the air as her lady cousin asserts own desires of entombment. "I am certain all the Sers would come from near and far to gain your blessing, should the magpies not pick away your gems," she teases, drinking more of her wine. "Someone told me that I reminded them of an apple tree, sweet cousin. I thought it both flattering and apt. Can you not picture me with my feet forever in the dirt, flowering in the spring and bearing fruit?"

The pavilion has been flourished to cater to a particular noblewoman's desire. A pair of sofas facing one another as well as a table for dining, chairs placed on all four sides. Rugs soften floors, adding color to the otherwise drab accommodations for the time being. Currently Danae and Cherise occupy one of the sofas, a tray with wine glasses and a dish of cheeses set before them. Attending would be two hand maidens as a pair of Charlton guards maintain the front entrance. As the day faded into evening one of the handmaidens entered into the pavilion with fire, lighting the candles and lamps as the night hours were upon them. Time flew when feeling catty and chatty. Cherise's wineglass was refilled again as she reached for a cube of cheese, "As they should. I have even practiced just how I wish they should carve my statue, though I would not worry of theft for at all hours there will be a guard posted below my pedastol with his sword at the ready to protect and honor me." At the last of her words the Lady Charlton smirked into wineglass. Another drink before she continues, "I can picture you in the dirt. I can also picture you with branches and twigs in your hair. Though I am afraid you'll bare no fruit nor blossom until a man comes and fertilizes you with his seed..ssss.." She laughed gingerly sliding that cube of cheese into her mouth. "An apple tree, by the Seven Danae how are you not insulted to be compared with apple tree?" Adding flatly, "It is a tree. Not a diamond."

Still blushing from their last visit and that one to the Flint tent, Isolde is careful this time as she waits at the flap and looks to Riordan who she has handed off the jug of wine to. She clears her throat and makes it known that they are coming in, but conversation is had so she figures it's safe. The Lady of Stonebridge dips her head, holding the cloth aloft as she holds a cloth bag in one hand. As her eyes adjust to the interior lighting, she can not help but smile - somewhat in relief. "My ladies…" She says warmly and takes a few steps within as she looks back to her goodbrother who is with her. "We have come with gifts for those going to the aid of the Roost and the women that are seeing them off. "We have wine and fresh baked goods from the Tower's stocks." She dips her head to each.

Said goodbrother, on the other hand, is not blushing. Riordan peeks into the tent, making sure all is well, though of course the conversation that is being had is a good indication that all is well. He awaits Isolde's entrance before entering as well. "Ah, m'ladies." It is a pleasure to see you both." His gaze lingers slightly on Danae before turning over to Cherise with a warm smile. "It is as m'Lady Isolde here says. Wine and baked goods. Nothing but the best to be given for the best!"

Danae laughs lowly and shakes her head at her cousin's fantasies, taking a sip of wine as she gathers her words. "Then I hope you get everything you wish, dear one. It is not a desire of mine to be so idolized. A tree would suit me well enough." She trails off, turning towards the warning at the door and then rising gracefully at the entrance of Lady Isolde and Lord Riordan. The latter draws a widening of her smile, lingering of gaze returned as she curtsies slightly. "My lord, My lady, that is kind. Might I introduce my cousin, Lady Cherise Charlton. Lady Isolde Nayland. Lord Riordan Nayland."

Said to Danae in a low tone before the arrivals, "Until they cut you down for firewood." With the curtain drawn Cherise immediately turns her attention to the pavilon's entrance, figuring it to be one of her handmaids until the Lady is seen, accompanied by another. Once inside, Lady Charlton sets the glass of wine onto the table, rising as Danae did. "Mlady Nayland and Lord Nayland." A head is inclined to both, a practiced smile slapped onto her thin lips. "How thoughtful you Lady Nayland." Cherise reaches her hand onto Danae's forearm briefly, "Cousin are they not thoughtful?" Before she could answer that same hand makes a gesture for the vacant sofas before them. "Be welcome in House Charlton's accommodations. My cousin here was just telling me about this lovely place. Stonebridge. Though in my travels I have never visited before, I would say it is a shame to do so under these circumstances. Never the less, I am here and in these times I am bound to make the most of it." Lively in her words, she'll wait for the pair to sit before reclaiming her own seat. "Lord Riordan, your wife is lovely."

Danae is a familiar face to Isolde and the Westerling woman returns the gentle look before she looks to Riordan and than over to Lady Cherise. "House Nayland thanks you for coming to our aid I fear this is not much in such short notice, but I had thought to make good to those leaving on the morrow. Not to mention, to welcome the ladies. I am hoping that you will find the rooms at the tower suitable when we retire there after the men march." Her green eyes give a look about the tent, "Such lovely choices in color…it is quite lovely, thank you." She steps forward to offer the fresh goods from the ktichens and set them down on the table while leaving the wine with Riordan to offer. She moves about to take the seat offered respectfully, "I.." Though Cherise's comment causes Isolde's blush to reclaim itself faintly along her skin as she smooths her skirts, "We are..not married. He is my good brother."

"It is a pleasure, Lady Charlton. I had the honour of squiring under a man from your house. Ser Andrey. Is he, perhaps, about? I've not had many a chance to visit with him since his arrival." Riodan chuckles, moving to place the wine on the table as Isolde does with the baked goods. Moving to the couch, he smiles and gives Cherise a shake of his head. "No. We are not married, m'lady. My Lord Brother, Lord Ryker Nayland, lord of Stonebridge, is her husband." He smile softly, taking a seat on the couch.

Seated, Cherise reclaims her wine glass as her poise remains upright. Impressions were everything. "Against the Ironborn? House Charlton is more than willing to lend their expertise in swordsmanship against those barbarians." She all but scoffed while looking over the offered gifts. By a fingered gesture towards her handmaiden, indicating to see the wine is tapped into. "I should hope to find them suitable as well Lady Nayland, though I am sure good company will ease the rise of discomforts." As Isolde looked about the tent, so had she. "Why thank you my lady." Mostly reds, auburns and golds and more prominently green. The maidservant had began to offer the two a glass of wine, each and indicated to the tray of cheese before them should they care for some. As the realization that this was not her husband, Cherise laughed sweetly, "Oh forgive me, I had.. well with so many 'R' names it is bound to be muddled on occasion. Goodbrother then." She smiled brightly to him. "I am afraid he is not Lord Nayland, I am certain he is out there.. somewhere with my husband. Without a doubt inspecting the men at arms or some other." Perhaps she's had a bit too much to drink for her cheeks were blushing red and the tongue flowed freely. "Are you married Lord Nayland?"

"They all have R names, my lady. There is no harm done." Right? Isolde smiles and nods, "Lovely colors, green being a dear favorite of mine…" She smiles and looks to the wine offered before taking it and thanking the maidservant. She sips at the fine vintage and sighs, relaxing some as her color begins to fade back to normal. She refrains from eating anything at the moment, "He is , my lady. He has been rather busy as of late. I sometimes wonder if I am married." The sound of the words are meant to be a jest and she smiles over her wine as she takes another long pull from it. Her gaze flits over to Danae a moment and than back to Cherise at the rather forward question and blinks, realizing that perhaps these two have been sharing a few hours together amongst themselves - with wine as their chief date.

"Ah. well. It is not for me to meet with him, then. Not tonight." Riordan bows his head. "It is certainly a night for many to be busy. I can understand. Last minute details and all." Taking the offered wine, Riordan chuckles and shakes his head. "No need to appologize, m'Lady Charlton. It is quite understandable. With a Ryker, a Rutger, a Riordan, and a few passed that to try to remember, I don't put blame on you for that." He clears his throat at the question, however, and takes a long sip of wine before answering. "No, m'lady. I am, at present, unwed."

"My apologies, dear cousin and Naylands. I was not as clear as I had hoped," Danae offers, flashing the pair an apologetic smile as she squeezes Cherise's hand. "They are all too thoughtful for their gift." She rejoins the party in the midst of conversation, sipping her wine and seated at her cousins side as the three converse for a while. There is something mild to the arch of her brows as a long look is cast towards her cousin for her…rather impertinent question.

Settled on Isolde at the moment, Cherise smirks following the jest. "Oh m'lady." She laughs a small touch, "His purse will never forget that you are his wife." A hint granted there. "Though I will agree with the preparation for this movement my husband has been seen less and less. We shall be ever grateful on their successful return." The lady raises her glass, a silent toast at her own words. Looking to Riordan, "They should return at some point in the evening at least for the dinner meal." The glass is drawn to her lips though no drink is taken, "Ah you are not? To hear that surprises me Lord Nayland. In Hollyhort only the favorable qualities shared reaches our ears and I am very happy to have faces to the names." Her eyes then look to Danae briefly before eying the others. "I heard the Ironborn had tried to reach Stonebridge, is this true?"

"Perhaps he will not forget that…," Says Isolde with a faint smile to Cherise. "Though right now his purse strings have little call upon the wealth of Stonebridge." She lifts her drink though when she speaks of their safe return and she lifts a brow, looking from Cherise to Riordan and she can not help but sip her wine to keep her peace. She clears her throat though at the last question and nods her head. "That they did and they were turned back, granted there were not as many as the numbers are to the west as we hear, but it was something to know that they were unsuccessful here. We lost only two men." She looks to her good brother to see if he has further words. "Small victories are still victories."

"Not to worry, Lady Westerling. It happens to the best of us." Riordan responds softly. "You flatter me with your words, m'lady." He says to Cherise. "I do hope, however, to find and have myself a wife sooner rather than later." He glances to Danae, but says no more on that subject. Instead, he sips his wine and listens intently to the conversation. "We were lucky here. Well, and we had an excellent group to fight for us. That, or the Ironmen they sent here were just horrible fighters." He clears his throat, taking another sip of wine.

Looking towards Riodan from beneath blonde lashes, Danae favors him with a soft smile before dipping her head to take a sip of her wine. She adjusts a lock her hair, before looking to Cherise with a wry expression and a gentle note that, "Stonebridge is quite sufficient in its own right, dear cousin." There is a slight raise of her brows towards Isolde, at the clearing of her throat. Smiling slightly, she adds a soft, "Aye. There was an excellent group. It seems that coming by water did not work as well for them as they had hoped. It seems that many of their number were concentrated elsewhere."

"They encountered a formidable enemy." She grins, "A great victory indeed." Drinking from her glass as Riordan speaks the noblewoman softly shrugs, "Sooner rather than later. Perhaps a visit to Hollyhort is in order as you are well acquainted with Lord Andrey. It is indeed lovely there. And you as well Lady Nayland." She smiles again, "If the decor of this pavilion was impressive you should see what we have accomplished in the castle." In Danae's turn to speak, Cherise counters the wry expression with her own inward grin. "I am sure it is as their wine is delightful." Indicating so by raising her glass, that is when one of her handmaids approaches, lowering to whisper in her ear. Whatever is said causes Cherise's brows to knit along with a deep exhale. "I do wonder if it possible to go a single night without something going amiss." Reaching forward she sets the wineglass down. "Do excuse me, my lord, lady and cousin. Please, continue to enjoy yourselves I shall return." With that the noblewoman rises, a small waver in her ascent before making her way towards the curtained exit.

As Cherise must excuse herself, Isolde stands slowly as she does out of respect for their current host. "Good eve, I do hope you will return, my lady." She offers in warmth before slowly taking to her seat again, looking to the other two and smiling warmly. "I wonder if I should not also get on. There are a few more tents to visit and the man outside is waiting with the cart of goods. I would hate to make him wait longer and them spoil." She leans forward to set her wine cup down and than stands once more. "I am sure you two will wish to speak before the morrow…" Her gaze flickers between them and she dips her head to each gracefully, the pins in her hair glittering in the faint light. "If you would excuse me. I will carry on, you should stay good brother." She looks to Riordan with that and turns to make her way also from the tent.

Standing as well, Riordan offers a little bow to Cherise as well. "M'lady. Good evening to you." He sits once more, but looks to Isolde. "M'lady Isolde. Should I not come with you? Do you not need help with the goods and the wine? I should think two hands are better than one?" He glances between Isolde and Danae. "Though…perhaps I should make sure that the Lady Danae is taken care of." He smiles to Isolde, standing once more as well. Taking a deep breath in, he says, "I shall catch up with you, good sister." Then he turns back to Danae. "M'lady." Slowly, once more, he sits.

"Cousin," Danae murmurs in farewell, setting aside her own wine to catch Cherise's hand in a brief clasp before releasing the other woman for her duty. She rises as Isolde does, eyes widening slightly as the lady moves to take her own leave. Any protests die on her tongue as Riordan agrees to it, sinking into a slow curtsey and a smile. "Of course, Lady Isolde. Stay well for the evening, in your duty and beyond," she wishes. Once Isolde has left, she looks to Riordan and sits slowly herself with a quiet, "My lord."

"I am sure I will be just fine. Kiel is pulling the cart and he can help me. We are amongst allies." Isolde offers to Riordan simply and than nods her head to the lady Danae. "You as well, enjoy yourself. Sneak what moments you can." It is said softly and she flushes a little with color as she turns to go, gathering her skirts and walking tenderly on her left foot. The flap of the tent settles back into place and the sound of the small cart can be heard start up again after a few soft words outside.

"Ah. But still. I'll try not to keep you his company too much longer. He seemed a little boring to me." Riordan sighs, but turns his attention back to Danae with a smile. "So, we ride off tomorrow. This may be our last chance to see each other for a while." He clears his throat. "I shall miss you, m'lady. I cannot express that enough."

Isolde's mincing steps earn a slight from the Westerling lady, features pinching with a slight worry that is caught on the edge of a sigh. Danae's features soften as she turns towards Riordan, fingers curling in the skirt of her dress with a sad smile taking place on her mouth. "You do," she near whispers. "I shall miss you as well, m'Lord. Ser or no…I do not like to think of the battle to come for you."

Standing, Riordan moves to the couch on which sits Danae, and places himself beside her. "I want you to know, m'lady, that should I not return…" He brings a hand up to her cheek and grazes it softly. "I want you to know…" Gazing into Danae's eyes, he seems nearly lost in thought. And then, without warning, he plants a kiss on Danae's lips.

Riordan's movements are followed with the utmost attentivenes, expression soft as he settles beside her. "Shhh. Do not speak of such," Danae murmurs lowly, looking up at him as she swallows thickly. Her lashes flutter as his fingers graze along her skin, breath catching at the sensation that brings a flush to her cheeks. Wide blue eyes regard his gaze soberly, warm with quiet emotion as she does not flinch away from his touch to her cheek. The kiss catches her by surprise. Muscles tense, eyes growing wider and then lashes sinking down until shut. She just presses in, tentative and delicate as the brush from a leaf.

For a good, long moment, Riordan keeps in the kiss before, after a time, breaking it. "You've know idea how long I've wanted to do that." He murmurs. He looks at Danae with an intense gaze, his face full of wonder. "I don't want to leave you in the morrow. I want…" He sighs. "I wish to stay with you."

Wide blue eyes blink up at him once released from the kiss, looking as awestruck as a songbird on line, cheeks flushed pink. Danae gently presses two fingers to her lips, flush deepening at the intensity of Riordan's stare. "Since when?" She wonders, words slipping out airily as if not fully thought before being spoken. The slow curve of a frown darkens her mouth, one hand covering his warmly and holding it to her cheek. "You must though. The banners must ride and so must you."

Placing his wine glass down nearby, Riordan stares longingly at Danae. As he speaks, his voice is soft, "Since I saved you on the horse." He almost whispers it. "Your beauty, your gentle spirit. Your kindness." He takes a deep breath in. "You are a wonderful woman, Lady Danae Westerling. A very wonderful woman." He brushes her cheek gently once more, softly. "I know we must ride. But I will come back. I must come back." He places his hand on a jacket pocket. "I don't want to miss the chance of being with you."

"So long?" Danae breathes unthinkingly, fingers curling over Riordan's instinctively. It was not so long ago, at all, but long enough in their knowing one another. Still slightly dumbstruck, she blinks at his compliment with little more then a twist of her smile. "Certainly not my horsemanship," she teases, unable to break his gaze. Again her lashes flutter as sword calloused hands brush over the curve of her cheek, an uncommon brightness to her smile. "I do not either. So come back."

"Even your horsemanship. It is all what makes you who you are. Wonderful you." Riordan whispers. "Promise me that you will await me?" Though he hardly needs ask that, by what she's been saying. None the less, he has said it. His fingers squeeze hers gently as his gaze continues to lock with hers.

"I think you see me hazily, my lord," Danae murmurs, sounding more fond than reprimanding as lashes brush low against her cheeks. There is something considering in her gaze, fingers trailing along the edge of his jaw before brushing back a lock of hair from his eyes. "No," she decides. "No. I will not wait. So you must come back as quickly as you are able." Alive is the word that is left unsaid, he must come back alive. Her fingers curl in his, reciprocating the touch as she smiles sweetly.

Moving in for one more kiss, Riordan stays locked there, eyes closed. When he finally breaks it off, he takes a deep, shaky breath in. Slowly opening his eyes, he says, "I must leave. If I don't leave now, I won't be able to." He stands and looks at Danae. "If I do not return, know that my thoughts were of you." Slowly, he turns to make his way out of the tent.