|Women and Wine|
|Summary:||Kamron visits Jacsen for a chat. The bromance blossoms.|
|Date:||18 June 2012|
|Jacsen and Anais' Tent|
|Full of lawn gnomes with eyepatches drawn on in permanent marker.|
|Mon 18 Jun 289|
Kamron has been meaning to get to this for some time, probably since before the cliff-diving experience, but circumstances have conspired against him. Now, with the Seagard tourney in full swing, he has pried himself away from the merriment and excitement. (Almost) Ever mindful of propriety, the Mallister sent his squire ahead to inquire as to a good time to meet with the Young Lord Terrick, and now he arrives at the appointed time, announcing himself to the guard(s) outside the tent and waiting patiently to be called in. When he's bid to enter, he does so, stepping into the pavilion and bowing his head before he moves over to offer his hand to the Terrick, "Lord Jacsen. Thank you for seeing me."
"Ser Kamron. Please," Jacsen greets on his feet, waving him in and toward a seat. He takes one too, bringing himself somewhat sideways to the knight, a low table before them both. The tent is not as comfortable as his room is back at the Roost, but that's to be expected - for temporary accommodations, they serve quite nicely. "Quite an exciting start to the tournament, I must say. Though I imagine that's not why you're here to speak with me."
Kamron laughs softly at the commentary, "I thought I would start with congratulations. The Roost showed pretty damned well at the first day of jousting. I'm proud to have lived and fought alongside those men." And perhaps there's a little bit of embarrassment, since they jousted where he did not — including the Terrick he just knighted bare days ago. He shrugs a little helplessly after that, however, "But you're absolutely right, Lord Jacsen. I wish that the victories of the tournament were all I wanted to discuss." That shrug is repeated, with a bit more embarrassment this time, "I've heard all sorts of rumors about explosions at meetings and the like. I wanted to repeat to you the offer I gave to your Lord Father — I'm at the Roost, or at least at the service of the Roost, as repayment for the leal service you and your family have offered my own. I want to help out however I can."
Jacsen smiles warmly with pride. "Yes, yes we did," he agrees of the Roost's showing. The mention of the explosions earns a quick purse of his lips. "Willem, bring us wine," he calls to his page before responding to Kamron's offer. "You've already saved me from drowning, Ser Kamron, and I daresay you have some non-aquatic skills to offer as well." He chuckles despite himself at that embarrassing memory. "You know our situation - perhaps better than I do yet. You know where we stand, too. Right now, I've a mind on several fronts to alleviate our pains and look to the future." He looks to the knight with interest. "Have you thoughts on this, Ser?" A very general question following a very general statement.
Kamron chuckles softly at the mention of his assistance, shrugging it off a bit. "Well, the most important issue to my mind is clearly food, Lord Jacsen." Yes, go with the most important to put off the potentially most embarrassing for a bit longer. "I've been wondering if we might not be able to arrange with the Redwynes or another Reach house to purchase food from them, to be brought in through Seagard. Lord Patrek might even lessen or entirely remove the tariffs to lower the cost to us. Theoretically, we could also bring it directly to the Roost by sea, although it would be a longer trip and without the dock finished, we would have to bring everything to shore in boats."
Ah yes, food. The topic on everybody's minds - and with good reason. "Are you close with the Redwynes?" Jacsen asks mildly since their name was specifically mentioned. "I've got Anais speaking to the Haighs and my sister speaking to various Reach Houses to see what their situation is. But if you've an in…" Speaking of Redwynes, Willem returns with some red wine, setting it on the table between them. "As for actually buying the food. The Groves have put forth the idea of a loan, though I've not spoken to them at length on terms just yet. I'm waiting to see how other talks progress before opening that line of discussion."
Kamron chuckles softly at the question, "I haven't met a one of them besides a few official moments, but Lord Mallister must know at least a few of them." That draws a chuckle and a helpless shrug. The chuckle almost hides the slight pressure of his lips together at the mention of Anais on one task and Lucienne on another. But there's a reason he didn't start there. Ploughing ahead, he puts in, "A loan from the Groves…" as much as it might pain him, he admits, "Might be necessary, if they'll offer anything less than usury. After all, an honest loan won't get them the lands they want." A faint sneer lifts his lips at that, but he shakes it off, "Most of my connections outside the Riverlands are old ones, and with Stormlords, Men of the Vale, or Northmen." War buddies, in other words. "None of which help much, unless they would offer a loan for less than the Groves. But as you said, the talk of the loan can wait until we know how much we need to borrow."
"Aye, I imagine so," Jacsen says of Lord Mallister. If he notices the pursing of his lips, he doesn't comment on it, instead taking the time to pour them both some wine. "Well, I'm hoping to reduce the amount of the loan required by way of dowry for Justin. Who showed quite well at the joust." Sounds like he thinks that might raise his brother's prospects. "The initial talks with the Naylands proved unfruitful, but we'll be back in talks after the tournament if they can meet my minimums. But even if they do, I'd like to see if there are better suited matches for him. From Houses perhaps… not so contentious."
Kamron nods his head at the mention of Justin's possible betrothal, taking up his wine and lifting it in a bit of a salute, "If a marriage could heal the wounds between Terrick and Nayland, it would be for the best, but as much as I hate to say it, a match with Justin may be the best bet to get the coin." There's no title given to the new-made knight, but by the man's tone, it's dropped out of friendship rather than scorn or forgetfulness. "And ladies complain that they are sold to sooth over arguments." Wry amusement causes him to shake his head, a smirk twisting his lips. "The Haigh girls are both quite pretty and intelligent. Although from what I've heard, my cousin Martyn is interested in Lady Katrin," there's a pause, and a grimace, "Although from other rumors, the Naylands may find a way to foul that up as well." Shaking that thought off, he nods, "If a loan or betrothal takes too long to arrange, would Lord Terrick consider selling some decorations and the like from Four Eagles to arrange for the first shipment of food, wherever it comes from?" Grimacing a little, the Mallister adds, "I don't have anything in mind, but given that debate and discussion cost us the Groves harvest in the first place, it might be good to get him thinking on such a course."
"Ser Rutger definitely seemed to be pushing on that angle - reconciliation between our Houses," Jacsen muses, returning Kamron's salute-raise before taking a sip himself. "But I'm not inclined to believe that's his intent. Not yet." There's a thoughtful grunt at the rest, another sip of wine taken down before replying. "If a loan or betrothal takes too long, then we will take what means we must to sustain our people. And I'll not allow us to sit idle in discussion when there's action to be taken. We can't afford to let opportunity slip through our fingers again, Ser Kamron, and I mean to see that it does not."
Kamron nods his head at the mention of Ser Rutger and his intentions, "I try not to doubt the motives of the Naylands without listening to them, but I find myself failing more often than not, sadly." Nodding more sharply at Jacsen's dedication, he draws in a short breath and skips ahead to the next topic, even if in a round-about way, "Once the food has been obtained," because if it's not, the Roost is probably done for, "your Lady Wife would be a good resource for distributing it. Her efforts on behalf of and alongside the smallfolk while you were ill have endeared her to many of them."
"The Naylands cannot be trusted, Ser Kamron," Jacsen confides in a low voice, agreeing with his sentiment. "This business with Stonebridge will end in an ugly fashion, and if they rise the victors, then yes, we must have preferential dealings with them - but never trust. Not after all they've done." That imparted, he drains off the rest of his wine and refills himself, holding his hand out for Kamron should he desire one too. "I agree with that idea," he says. "Anais needs more people on her side - though more nobility than smallfolk, had I my way. That is why I set her to the Haighs; there seem to my thoughts to be a myriad of opportunities there, all in brides, grains, or coin. She will be able to find a good alternative."
Kamron waves off the offer of a refill, taking another sip of his wine but not nearly so much as to drain the cup. The mention of Anais needing more noble allies draws a small, dry chuckle from the man, "From what I have heard of the Lord and Lady Banefort, she is more her father's daughter than her mother's." Shifting in his seat a bit and taking another sip of his wine, he adds, "Lady Banefort is here at the tournament, actually." Running his fingers through his hair, he adds, "Although I suppose that has nothing to do with this subject." The Mallister purses his lips, getting back on topic before it strays into really dangerous (for him) subjects, "It sometimes seems that the Terricks who could not help The Roost during the Invasion do not see what Lady Anais did for her new home during that time — and did nearly alone."
Jacsen raises an 'are you sure?' eyebrow at Kamron turning down the wine, setting it back on the table and sitting back in his chair. "Ser Kamron - " The Young Lord sighs, brows creased in a frown, lips quirked in thought. "Ser Kamron," he says again, not really looking at him but through him. "It seems you bear my wife great love, and give her your trust, yes? And she has done good works in the Roost and has been a boon to me since I was on my feet again - this I can't deny." This seems to be leading somewhere, but he pauses to give him time to answer what of that he wants.
Kamron grimaces at the repetition of his name, shrugging an apology for bringing up the topic, even if he tried to do it delicately. "I've found her a friend, Lord Jacsen. And yes, I trust her, trust that she will do whatever she can to help the Roost — and you — recover." Other than that confirmation, he does not add more for now, allowing the Young Lord to continue where he may.
Jacsen breathes deeply, tapping at the wineglass with his thumb. "I hope you don't misunderstand me, Ser Kamron - I agree with all of that. Completely." That second glass of wine is gone in one long drain. "And yet she also has… her episodes. The Banefort in her, yes?" As Kamron said, more her father's daughter than her mother's. "In time, she will be the Lady of the Roost by my side. But she'll need help to get there yet."
Kamron finishes off his own wine then, considering he might need it. And then he's rising to refill his own glass — hey, Jacsen offered before — and offer a refill to his host. "She has a temper to match the sun, Lord Jacsen, just as her Lady Cousin does." There might be just a hint of a smile across his lips as he mentions Saffron, but given the seriousness of the conversation, it flickers away like a candle in a gale. "She needs to stop telling people what to do and start suggesting what they might do." He laughs dryly, "But I bet I don't have to tell you that. I do need to tell her that. And I will."
"I hope she'll heed your advice," Jacsen sighs, holding out his cup gratefully for the refill. It's not good wine, but it's alcohol, and that's enough. "She likes you well and respects you, I think. And I think I've yet to earn that from her." He scoffs with a rueful smile. "Women," he says, summing up all his thoughts of them in one word as he raises his glass again. "Women, Ser Kamron, will be the ruin of us all. Women and wine."
Kamron shakes his head ruefully, matching the toast, "Women." Taking a swig of the wine, he adds, "I never thought women would be the ruin of me, unless I was married off to some harpy." He pause a moment, then adds, "I meant that generally, not a reference to the Naylands." There's a pause where he gathers his thoughts — and his courage — and then he cuts back to, "If Lady Anais does not respect you, Lord Jacsen, it's because she doesn't think you respect her." He gives another apologetic shrug, "While you were still incapacitated, she mentioned that she felt that you never shared your thoughts with her, never went to her for advice." A hint of a smile rises to his lips then, "From what I've seen at the tournament," not that he was looking, it's just that Anais' cousin usually sits close by her, "that may have changed. If it has, I'm glad of it. From what I've seen, the thing Lady Anais wants the most for herself is to belong. To a person, to a place, to a family."
"Gods prevent the day you should be married to a harpy, then," Jacsen chuckles. "I near thought I was, for a time," he admits, the wine loosening his lips. "Thought my brother Jaremy had saddled me with two problems, not one - his tempest of a bride and the seal. But - " He holds a finger skyward. "Neither of them need be a problem if managed correctly." Sip, sip, nod. "I'm trying to build a place for her at the Roost," he confirms. "A place at my side. I do respect her. But she's unpredictable yet. All in time." He grunts, eyeing Kamron. "And what of you, Ser? Have you a Lady you respect?"
Kamron shrugs his shoulders slightly, "A strong woman can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how flexible both husband and wife are," he takes another swallow of wine and adds, "And I don't mean in bed." That's given a grin, and then a helpless shrug, "Okay, maybe that too, but I didn't mean that at the time." The question that follows, well, that's treading into dangerous territory. The Mallister eyes Jacsen for a long moment, then nods slowly, "I try to respect all women, Lord Jacsen." Obviously that wasn't the question asked, and Kamron continues, "If you swear not to share the news until it's announced as they did, I'll share a secret I've only told my sister and Lady Anais."
"Well, that puts me at a disadvantage, doesn't it?" Jacsen laughs, looking down at his bad leg. The joke and ensuing laugh put him more at ease after their conversation about Anais, a topic that's touchy at best even with his own kin. "I swear it, Ser Kamron," he says, intrigued. "And I can tell you that Anais has kept her word, since I've not a thought on whom your mystery Lady might be."
Kamron laughs along with the Terrick, allowing the difficult topic to recede in favor of the dangerous one. With the man's word, Kamron leans forward, resting his forearms on the edge of the table and lowering his voice, "At my request, Lord Mallister has sent word south," Oh, he's being a bit coy, but when one has a big secret, it doesn't pay to spill it out all at once, "to request a betrothal between myself and Lady Saffron Banefort." Which would, of course, make him and Jacsen kin, in a rather odd and distant way.
"Lady Saf - " Jacsen's brows shoot way up, and he leans forward and drops his voice as well, caught up in the conspiratorial atmosphere. "Lady Saffron Banefort!" he says quietly with a grin. "She's a fine lady, and I'm sure both your Houses will find it a good match." The kinship path that would be formed between the two men is so distant that it doesn't immediately register in his mind. "Your secret's safe with me, Ser Kamron, and I wish you but the best in this."
Kamron shrugs a little helplessly, a bit of a silly grin spreading across his lips, "She's more than a fine lady… charming, intelligent, courteous…" Another laugh lifts to his lips, this one helpless as well, "And it doesn't hurt that she is exceptionally easy on the eyes." He drowns his grin in another sip of wine, "Of course, she has a very similar temper to her cousin… I think she's a bit frustrated and confused because she knows she is to be betrothed to someone new, but not who she might be betrothed to yet."
Jacsen smiles to see the grin - Kamron's hope and happiness is infectious. "Yes - yes, she is all those things," he agrees, reaching across the table to give him a good clap on the shoulder. "And Gods help you if her temperament is anything like Anais'." That elicits another laugh, but this one's bittersweet. "It must be nice - wanting the woman you're to be with," he says, leaning back in his chair again. "My brother, Ser Jarod, he - loves - his wife. The Nayland. And despite everything, it makes him happy."
Kamron arches his eyebrows at Jacsen's half-complaint, "Have you seen your wife, Lord Jacsen? If you can find a way to temper the explosions, you have an exceptionally beautiful, intelligent, and charming wife." He puts one hand to his chest, "If you'll forgive me for saying so." And then he finishes off the latest cup of wine, setting the cup down this time. "Besides the temper, and her cousin kept out of the contest, I've yet to meet a woman more interesting as a match than the one you've made." Okay, so maybe he's gotten a little used to watered wine.
"I have, I have," Jacsen chuckles, shaking his head. "And she is all those things. She makes me think for a while that things are safe and that this is going to work, and then… the next explosion happens. And we start from the beginning again." He waves away Kamron's concern over complementing Anais, perhaps since the man's just told him where his heart lies. "Can't say 'besides the temper'," he says, pointing a finger. "That's like asking for a fire without the heat."
Kamron's grin goes very crooked indeed, "I rather like the heat. Then again, I'm the same idiot who finds any excuse possible to put my armor on and find someone to hit." He shakes his head, chuckling softly, "I've never claimed to be smart. Just very dedicated to what I believe in. Probably why I don't consider Lady Saffron's own temper a detriment to my suit. Life's a little more interesting with some danger involved, in my mind." There's another laugh, and his grin is back full force, "Maybe if you considered each explosion like a jump off the cliff… the adrenaline is rather nice."
"Yes, the adrenaline is nice while it lasts. Then you hit the cold water - and, well," Jacsen chuckles, "Then I should drown, I suppose, without someone to swim me back to shore." That metaphor sufficiently overextended, he shrugs and puts his cup down as well. "Well, I suppose we'll have something in common, then, in dealing with explosions, yes?" he asks with a grin. "I do appreciate your coming, though, Ser Kamron. And your words."
Kamron waves off the mention of drowning again, "You had things under control." Still, he nods, "Need to get some sort of bell rigged up, a warning system. Because they're ladies, and they're likely to talk to each other, and then everyone'll blow up at once." He rises at the thanks, shrugging another apology he can't really voice, "I really do mean that I'll help however I can." There's a pause, then he holds out his hand again, "Call me Kam."
Jacsen laughs at the mental image of Anais and Saffron running about with bells. "We'd be better served designing a maze between their rooms," he says. "Anais seems rarely to sleep, and the bell would only keep me up all night." At the reiteration of the offer of help, he nods in appreciation. "And I mean to take you up on it," Jacsen says, coming to his feet as well. "Terrick pride be damned, the Roost will need every loyal mind and hand it can get in upcoming days. And I'm glad to count you amongst our number." He clasps Kamron's forearm with a nod. "Kam. Then I'm just Jacsen."
Kamron clasps the other man's forearm as well, "Then I'll let you get back to whatever the hells you were doing before I came in and interrupted, Jacsen." One shoulder rises and falls, "See you out at the jousting this evening." And then he's moving to depart, enjoying the little buzz that comes with drinking wine relatively quickly on an empty stomach.