|With All Haste|
|Summary:||Cherise and Ceinlys prepare to depart for Seagard.|
|Date:||31 January 2012|
|Related Logs:||Damn the Messenger; Blood and Wine|
|Four Eagles Tower - Guest Suite|
|Lady Cherise' temporary lodgings at the Roost.|
|January 30th 289 A.L.|
Both letters received had sealed her fate, the lady was well within her chambers barking instructions at all the servants to see her belongings folded and arranged into the trunks properly. The room was a flurry of activity however Cherise herself was simply seated near the fire, warmed tea in hand and a blanket over her torso and limbs. "The red one.. no the blue. Bring them all. Everything just everything. Be careful with that Elise!" One of the maidens were sent to retrieve Ceinlys, not having seen the woman since her rapid departure from the courtyard.
Worst. Timing. Ever. Having sent her long-suffering handmaid to fetch a little mugwort from the herbal supplies, scarce as they are, in the kitchens of the tower, Ceinlys is instead brought word of her Lady's summons, leaving her no time to make use of the cooling cloth she had intended to prepare for her bruised cheek. Damnitall. The young woman is nothing if not dutiful, and makes her way promptly to the larger chambers of Lady Cherise, skirts grasped out of the way of her booted feet as she sets a brisk pace. Not running. She doesn't do running. But there was a worrying note of urgency in the message and so her stride is as swift as decorum permits. Halting abruptly in the doorway as one of the noblewoman's servants hurries out with a coffer, the Lady Erenford draws a few ebon locks, thankfully cut shorter about her features, forward over her temple, shading one side of her face a little. It could easily just have been tousled in her rush to arrive, couldn't it? Then she steps inside, casting her piercing azure gaze about the bustling room with arching brows before it finds and settles upon Cherise. At a more seemly gait, now, she approaches the seated woman, dipping a gentle curtsey. "My Lady.. you sent for me?" she enquires, soft-spoken. Despite being perhaps a little the worse for wear after several cups of wine, she holds herself as properly as ever.
Shortly after Ceinlys had entered the chambers two men, of her guard arrive to cart out another trunk to tie down on her carriage. "Oh good, Ceinlys you are here." Cherise returns after lowering the warmed mug onto her lap, both hands still embracing the clay. "Plainly I am departing the Roost to the camps at Seagard." She makes a muted gesture at the scampering servants. "Immediately. I shall have Elise aid you to gather your things." No apologies for being short notice, the lady had a few hours of daylight and it was ideal to take up the most of it.
Taking this in quietly, though no doubt having supposed as much given the bustle within the walls of the rooms occupied by Cherise and her housheold, the young lady inclines her head slowly. "Thank you, m'lady. I brought only a few trunks, so my preparations ought not take too long." Far be it from her to slow this departure in any way. Venturing a step closer, however, she casts a glance over the noblewoman, a touch of concern softening the icy hues of her eyes. "..I know it to be easier said than done, Lady Cherise.. but do try not to let all this.." Her hand gestures, similarly, in a vague manner to the activity surrounding them, "..unduly upset you. If your decision is made, all that remains is the journey. And your household, I am certain, will see to it that you have every comfort for it." Pressing her lips briefly into a firm line, Ceinlys tilts her head a little askance. "I had thought you might intend to wait a little longer.. to let the dust settle, as it were. Has further word arrived, in my absence, my Lady?"
Operating on impulse there was very little thought guiding her actions. From the news delivered by Aron to the letter received via her goodcousin, the heir of Hollyholt her fate relied on being on the road leading from the Roost to Seagard. "Truly upset me?" Cherise questioned, her tone in stark disbelief of the concern Ceinlys exudes. "I am beyond the feelings of being upset Ceinlys, I am distraught in knowing how my husband may be returned to me. He may never be the man I knew. He may be bumbling fool and utterly useless for our future. He may become a cripple and what then? Am I to nurse his drooling habits for the end of my days desperately relying upon the good fortune of his family's wealth? I am told he is fine and yet from Lord Andrey he recommends I see him." Out of frustration the lady holds out the mug of tea toward one of her chambermaids, "Take it away." Soon the beverage is leaving her possession, transfered into anothers. "I care not for comfort, I want my husban—" Cherise's gaze narrowed tightly upon the noblewoman's features, her words broken when taking notice of the reddened discoloration on Ceinlys' cheek. Pressing at the arms of her chair, the pale blue and grey woven blanket slides down the floor. "What has happened?" A delicate pale finger points to the woman's cheek, barely concealed by the curtain of luxurious black curls.
Ceinlys regards the noblewoman levelly as she rises, her hands never moving from their proper clasp at her abdomen and no flinching backward step taken, even as the servants quail in the presence of their mistress' displeasure. "Whether you care for it or not, my Lady.. it is my place to ensure you are well looked after. Particularly in your delicate condition and in the wake of such troubling news." She spares nary a glance for the handmaiden who meekly rids Cherise of her drink, no longer desired. "I know well the concerns of a wife, with child, who is left behind when her husband departs to an uncertain future.. do not mistake my concern for you as a misdirection of my understanding." The reminder is a gentle one, but no less truthful for it. Ceinlys was only a girl when her husband met his end, leaving her pregnant and abandoned. "I have the utmost faith, my lady, that your husband will be returned to you, whole and able as he ever was. That said.."
She pauses, choosing her words with care. "If your fears become fact, I sincerely doubt that his kin would abandon you. You would be kept, always, I expect, in the manner to which you are accustomed. You, and your child. The Charltons, after all, are an honorable House." If there were anything further she intended to say, she trails off as that finger is pointed to her cheek, her own hand rising to lightly touch upon the darkened hues. "Oh.. silly really. A little too much wine, and I trip upon my skirt on the stairs.." Mustering a sheepish smile, Ceinlys gently shakes her head. "Do not concern yourself, Lady Cherise. I must beg of you to quiet your mind as best you can, if only for the sake of your unborn heir."
The lady felt foreign in her own body, pulse racing as the hour drew closer for her departure and still she would endure hours within the carriage to arrive at the Charlton camp after dusk. "Forgive me if I take little faith from your words of comfort Ceinlys after how you are regarded by the Erenfords. You would be a poor example to console me in that matter currently." Cherise had turned away briefly, her grief taking the foreseat of her tongue, negating all rational to curve her words. Lifting a hand to the forehead she felt warm, dampened by sweat. After a moment the lady sighs heavily, "I did not mean that." Perhaps she did. Those threads would not be disentangled now. "I am. I am glad that you are here. To have someone close who once endured this, I should be grateful for your company and wisdom." Cherise tried to soften her features even as ire was bubbling through her veins. "I will try to remain calm." The words come fort with much effort to combat the rising paranoia. Until hearing the reason as to how that bruising appeared on the lady's face. Certainly not from falling. The hands should be reddened or some other injuries. "If you are to lie to me Ceinly's at least do it well." Even though the woman had promised to speak with honesty upon their first meeting.
With a thought that this may need not pass onto the ears of others, Cherise issues an order to her servants demanding their departure for the ladies to converse in privacy. She needed that time to breathe, to still the urge of throwing yet another item at someone. Once alone the blonde haired noblewoman folded arms against her bosom. Her tone softened a touch when addressing Ceinlys again, "Someone has struck you. I wish to know who would dare lay their hand or otherwise upon my lady in waiting."
The only telling sign that the words hit a nerve, likely unseen as Cherise turns from her, is a tightening of the young lady's jaw. But there remains a measured pause before she speaks again. "..I desired to serve within the Charlton House, my lady, because they are of a far finer quality than the Erenfords. I trust your own opinion of them is equally high." She watches the Lady's back steadily, swallowing back any reaction beyond her calm, impassive appearance. Whether she believes any of it - the gratitude for her presence, or the hollow apology - is impossible to say. Ceinlys simply doesn't press the matter. Not when the fair-haired woman is already struggling to hold her composure.
When the servants are dismissed, she casts a meaningful glance toward her chaperone, who is hovering on the threshold. "Brigid. See to my belongings." And the older woman, just like that, is dismissed, with a curt flit of her mistress' fingertips. Drawing a slow, steadying breath as the doors are drawn quietly closed, she returns her cerulean gaze to Cherise. "My Lady, I would seek to mislead you, indeed, from my own concerns when greater matters assail your thoughts. But as you wish.." With their audience departed, the raven-tressed Lady Erenford speaks with forthright candour. "A disagreement with my brother. I said some things which, in retrospect, I ought not to. And, as is his wont when provoked, he dealt me a blow. It barely stings, and I have already had some mugwort brought, so I may soothe the redness. I assure you, it will be quite invisible by the time we reach Seagard… no one will have reason to question the stature of those in your employ." Her smile is wan, but it warms her expression a little, all the same. Appearances are everything, for women like them.
In name and wealth the opinion was high, as to who occupied the lording seats that was questioned. Cherise had overlooked just how sharp her words had dug in, already dismissed and forgotten as more troubling uncertainties plagued her.
In listening the lady stood there, arms remained folded in hugging herself. "I should hope they will not." Her words relating to others questioning the hand of Charlton's rule. "Still, kin or no. He should be reminded that while you may be his sibling any slight upon your person is a slight against House Charlton. He would do wise to temper his hands and tongue in future matters." No matter what was said this was her lady and in an effort to bring some importance of that fact Cherise drew closer, tilting her head in a position to review the redness that lingered. "He has the temperament of a bull I imagine and the courtesies of a swine."
Subtly turning her head, that the light may fall better upon the cheek Cherise seems intent upon studying, the young lady answers with the ghost of a smile still playing about her lips. "The same qualities that ensure he is a worthy addition to the numbers of your husband's men, my Lady, at times can spill over. It was my own fault, for irritating him after such a long ride.. and in the wake of such stresses the battlefield no doubt provides." Her blue eyes wander toward the noblewoman, regarding her in kind for a long moment. "I thank you, all the same, my lady. In future, I will remind him that his temper would be better directed elsewhere. In the meantime, however.." Letting her raven hair fall back over the offending bruise, Ceinlys once more adopts her typical, businesslike demeanour. "We had best see you packed and made ready. Is there anything I may do for you..?"
Such actions come from fathers to daughters or husbands to wives were not uncommon. At least from the gossiping harpies that surrounded Hollyholt. A lady with too much powers was concealing something be it a flaw in her appearance or a man's displeasure. "Indeed… truth be told he is a fine swordsman." She relays after turning away from her inspection of Ceinly's cheek. "No need to remind him yourself Lady Erenford, it will be addressed after we arrive to Seagard." Either by herself or her brain injured husband. "Most of my belongings are packed, most. I just need the carriage and horses made ready and we shall depart sooner rather than later. If you would see that the servants may return to their task at my things, then yours, we will leave post haste."